Forget the plastic bag ban: Be glad NJ doesn’t also have this ridiculous ban
New Jersey is no stranger when it comes to dealing with bans. Back in 2022, New Jersey's plastic bag ban went into place, effectively ending the usage of single-use plastic bags. This, in turn, has increased the use of reusable shopping bags.
For the most part, New Jerseyans seem to have adapted well to this. What was once a practice among some shoppers is now common for most. Entering a retail establishment with a bunch of reusable bags has become the norm in the Garden State.
And even though there will always be some that will never want to adapt, there's at least some logic to it. Mainly, when it comes to protecting our environment.
Of course, there's also the counter-argument to this when it comes to how you define a single-use plastic bag. If we are indeed banning them to help reduce litter and harm to animals from eating them, mainly marine life, then why do we still have single-use plastic bags in the produce section of supermarkets?
Although that seems to be one exception, for the most part, there is some sound logic for us to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic bags. Not saying all our bans are necessarily smart with how they're implemented, but at least there's some logic to what we're trying to do here. In other states? Not so much.
Yes, as hard as it can be to believe, there are some states that are even more ridiculous than New Jersey and its plastic bag ban. As stated earlier, I can see the logic of what we're trying to do but also see the loophole with some produce bags still being allowed.
Keep that in mind for a moment as it's an important part of what this other state does. To New Jersey's credit, the use of point-of-sale plastic bags is certainly a lot heavier than the use of plastic produce bags. This other state, on the other hand, kind of missed the mark with its ban.
Take a good look at the photo of the machines above. Notice anything different about them? Both have the same functions and offer similar products. If you don't notice anything yet, that's alright. We'll dive into it more in just a moment.
These machines, by the way, are not in New Jersey. They're located in Provincetown, MA, way out toward the end of Cape Cod. It is here that I learned of this particular ban that exists throughout the Cape in Massachusetts.
Now the ban doesn't have anything to do with the two machines themselves. However, there is one particular product both these machines can offer that they no longer are allowed to.
Let's take a closer look. First, we'll check out the soda machine.
Notice anything unusual about the selections? Probably not.
This particular image shows four distinctly different beverages, all offered in a standard plastic bottle. And the price point is the same as the other machine, so nothing different with that either.
Now let's take a closer look at the other machine. The one filled with only water.
Almost the exact same, but with one notable difference. Notice how the water is sold in this machine.
Yup, that's it. Cape Cod in Massachusetts currently has a ban in place on plastic water bottles. Essentially, this means that no matter how hard you look, you will not find any plastic water bottles to purchase.
Now, why is this more illogical than the misstep that New Jersey took with its plastic bag ban and the produce bags? If the plastic bottle isn't filled with water, then it's completely allowed to have and to sell.
Yes, you read that right. Somehow it's logical to ban a plastic bottle if it's filled with water, while completely allowing it if it's filled with any other beverage.
It just makes no sense to do this, and we should be lucky New Jersey hasn't tried anything like this. At least, not yet.
Here's a machine with both water and other soft drinks. Notice only the water is in a can, while everything else is allowed to be proudly sold in a plastic bottle. I understand the environmental aspect of banning plastic bottles, but this is just dumb.
New Jersey may be illogical with a lot of things, but at least our plastic ban isn't as bad as this. For example, we at least now have reusable bags to take with us.
For Cape Cod, I wouldn't be surprised if there's just more litter and garbage with those cans, which, by the way, are not reusable. At least plastic bottles you can get one or two additional uses out of them before they need to be discarded.
Look, if you're going to do a ban on plastic bottles, then do it on all plastic bottles with only a select few exceptions.
But again, be fortunate this one isn't New Jersey's problem. So thank you, Massachusetts, for not making us look so bad with our own plastic ban.
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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.