Did you hear the results of a Monmouth University poll about how aware New Jersey residents are of the plastic bag ban that starts May 4?

The answer is not very.

7 in 10 residents are aware there’s a ban coming on single-use plastic bags. How is it not 9 in 10 if not 10 in 10? This law passed in 2020 and was only delayed by the pandemic. And it was long-debated prior to 2020. How do this many people not know what’s happening in their own state?

It gets worse.

(Townsquare Media photo illustration)
(Townsquare Media photo illustration)

Very few people in New Jersey know that at grocery stores paper bags won’t be an option either. Only 28% understand this. Does anyone follow the news anymore?

Here’s why this matters on a practical level. People are going to be showing up on May 4 (and May 5 and May 6) at grocery stores without bringing their own bags. They’re going to have a week’s worth of groceries and be blindsided at the checkout lane.

And a certain number of them are going to act obnoxious about it.

So allow me to offer some helpful advice for all the Karens out there.

7 rules Karens need to abide by when NJ’s bag ban begins


If you have been too goshdarn busy fighting with managers over expired coupons and not staying open when you came through the door a minute before closing time to bother paying attention to the New Jersey news that single-use plastic bags are banned beginning May 4, you have only yourself to blame.


We understand you feel the world is your punching bag and you are the fulcrum of the universe. But see point A and don’t blame cashier B for your lack of knowledge and preparedness. They’re not getting paid to hear you blame them for the bag ban. They didn’t sign this into law.


There are signs everywhere now warning you of the bag ban and when it begins. If you’re not reading news you’re certainly at least going into stores. Don’t assume those signs are just there for the steerage class. Read them.


If you DO finally notice what’s starting May 4 don’t assume they really mean May 10. Don’t treat this like that expired coupon you argued with the manager about. This is a law. You’re not above it. Be ready.


Here’s a real opportunity for you, Karen. Pick reusable bags that give a statement about what you expect from the world. Like maybe this…

Cafe Press
Cafe Press


If you show up on May 4 without your own reusable bags, under no circumstances try to negotiate with the cashier to “find you some.” We can hear you already arguing how “there must be some still here in the back somewhere.”


May 4 is likely going to be a storm of stress for retailers and grocery stores across the state. Their managers are going to be busy popping Excederin like they’re candy and dealing with other pompous idiots like you who think the new law shouldn’t apply to them. It’s a $5,000 fine for 3rd and subsequent offenses if they’re caught caving in to your demands. So Karen, please, put away the attitude. That’s one thing we might let you put in a bag.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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