The new decade has brought with it the starting date for plastic bag bans in another half dozen municipalities and counties.

Asbury Park, Bayonne, Camden County, Garfield, Glen Rock, Lambertville, Paramus, Ridgewood, Saddle Brook, Somers Point and South Orange now have ordinances in effect aimed at promoting the use of reusable carryout bags.

In August 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy vetoed a measure that would have imposed a statewide 5-cent fee on carry-out bags, a proposal that was opposed by environmental groups because fees have not done enough to discourage people from using plastic bags in other parts of the country. Environmentalists say the plastic bags and straws are hazards for animals and marine life.

New Jersey uses 4.4 billion plastic bags a year, according to the NJ League of Conservation Voters.

Scientists have found plastic fragments in hundreds of species, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species, according to Environment New Jersey.

Business groups also opposed the measure, as well as the Legislature's newest proposal, but for different reasons.

Douglas Kellogg, state projects director at Americans for Tax Reform, called efforts against plastic drinking straws a "moral panic." Others say it will impose financial hardships on small businesses and consumers.

Many of the local ordinances have exemptions from the ban, which is aimed at the bags people would use at the check-out counter, not the bags used in the produce aisle or the plastic containers used to package meats. Garbage bags also are exempt.

Jersey Shore towns that have adopted these measures also exempt bait shops from the ban.

Fines are aimed at merchants not consumers, who still are allowed to use plastic bags at home or bring them to stores in order to reuse them for shopping.

A few communities that have imposed fees or bans on plastic bags have exempted consumers who are on welfare.

Here are locations in New Jersey that have adopted anti-bag or anti-plastic measures.

Atlantic County

The county law prohibits the use of single-use bags in county parks. Violators face fines of up to $500.

Asbury Park

A ban on businesses handing out single-use plastic bags and a fee on paper bags, went into effect on Jan. 1, after being adopted in June 2019.

Avalon

Restaurants cannot use single-use bags or Styrofoam containers for leftovers or take-out, as of June 2019.

Bayonne

A ban on single-use plastic bags and plastic straws went into effect on Jan. 1, after the Bayonne City council adopted an ordinance in July.

Beach Haven

Since June 2018, restaurants and shops have not been allowed to provide plastic carry-out bags. Bait shops are exempt. Fines of up to $500.

Belmar

Since May 2018, shops and restaurants have not been allowed to provide plastic carry-out bags. Violators face fines of up to a maximum of $10,000.

Bradley Beach

Since January 2019, businesses are not allowed to provide plastic carry-out bags and must charge 5 cents for paper bags.

Brigantine

Since June 2018, businesses have been prohibited from providing plastic carry-out bags. Fines of up to $500.

Camden County

The Camden County Board of Freeholders in October 2019 passed a ban on single-use plastic bags, straws, stirrers, and utensils, polystyrene (Styrofoam), and bottled water in single-serve containers starting in January 2020 at all county government facilities and county-sponsored events.

The county in February 2018 banned balloons at events.

Chatham Borough

The Borough Council in October 2019 adopted a ban on single-use plastic bags at stores. Retailers must charge 10 cents, which they keep, for customers who use paper bags. This goes into effect March 2020.

Chatham Township

The Township Council in October 2019 adopted a ban on single-use plastic bags at stores. This goes into effect March 2020.

Cranford

On Aug. 13, 2019, the township council adopted an ordinance phasing out retail use of single-use plastics, effective July 1, 2020.

Garfield

The city has banned local businesses or stores from providing single use, plastic carry-out bags to customers, effective Jan. 1. The ordinance also restricts plastic straws, to single straws upon request for customers citing a disability or medical condition, under penalty of a fine for the business.

Glen Rock

A ban on businesses handing out single-use plastic bags, and a 10-cent fee on paper bags, went into effect on Jan. 1.

Harvey Cedars

Plastic carry-out bags have been banned since June 2018. Bait shops are exempt.

Highland Park

The borough passed a "Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance" in February 2019. Since May, shoppers are charged a 10-cent fee per plastic bag they use. As of November 2019, stores no longer offer plastic carry out bags, and there is a 10-cent fee on paper bags.

Hoboken

Since January 2019, stores cannot provide plastic carry-out bags and must charge a fee of 10 to 25 cents for paper bags, while providing reusable bags for a 10-cent fee. Stores cannot charge fees for people on welfare. An ordinance banning the use of all carry-out plastic bags from food service and retail establishments, as well as single service styrofoam products, is scheduled to take effect on March 8, 2020.

Hopewell Borough

A ban on businesses providing single-use plastic bags was slated to be enacted in "early fall" 2019 after its adoption in November 2018, the borough administrator previously said.

Jersey City

Since June 2019, stores are prohibited from providing plastic carry-out bags. Bags used for produce, frozen food and meats and pharmacy bags for prescriptions are exempt. The ordinance also bans non-recycled paper bags and biodegradable plastic bags that are not at least 2.25 millimeters thick.

Lambertville

A ban on plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam containers went into effect on Jan. 1.

Little Silver

A ban on carry-out plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam containers was passed in March 2019 and was given a six-month phase-in period.

Long Beach

Since May 2018, stores have been prohibited from handing out carry-out plastic bags. Bait shops are exempt.

Longport

This town's pioneering 2015 ordinance requires customers to ask for bags and pay a 10-cent fee.

Madison

The Borough Council in October 2019, adopted an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags in stores. Retailers must also charge customers 10 cents for use of a paper bag. The stores keep the fee. Rules go into effect in March 2020.

Maplewood

A ban on businesses handing out single-use plastic bags went into effect in August 2019, while a 5-cent fee for paper bags started in September 2019.

Monmouth Beach

Since June 2018, plastic carry-out bags, straws and Styrofoam containers have been banned. Fines of up to $2,400.

Ocean Gate

A ban on plastic carry-out bags, straws and Styrofoam containers went into effect in September 2019, after the Borough Council adopted an ordinance in March 2019.

Paramus

At a August 2019 meeting, the City Council passed a ban on single-use plastic bags as well as polystyrene, or Styrofoam, food containers, that took effect January 2020.

Parsippany-Troy Hills

A ban on plastic carry-out bags was signed by the Mayor in October 2019, after the Township Council adopted an ordinance. When it goes into effect in April 2020, businesses also will be required to charge a 10-cent fee for paper bags.

Point Pleasant Beach

Since May 2018, stores have been prohibited from handing out carry-out plastic bags. Bait shops are exempt.

Ridgewood

A ban on businesses handing out single-use plastic bags went into effect as of January 2020.

Saddle Brook

The township passed an ordinance in August 2019 banning single use plastic carry-out bags being used by stores and businesses, effective Jan. 1. Retail establishments or stores can provide customers only reusable bags and/or recyclable paper bags, and have the right to provide a credit to customers that choose to bring their own bags.

Somers Point

After adopting a five-cent fee for single-use plastic bags in January 2019, Somers Point City Council adopted an amended ordinance in September, to ban single-use plastic bags as of Jan. 16.

South Orange

https://www.southorange.org/668/Reusable-Bag-Ordinance
The South Orange Village Board of Trustees adopted an ordinance in July 2019, effective Jan. 1, banning single use plastic carry-out bags, while imposing a 5-cent fee for paper carry-out bags

Stafford

Plastic carry-out bags were banned in December 2018.

Stone Harbor

No plastic carry-out bags, straws or Styrofoam containers for leftovers or take-out. Paper bags and plastic utensils have to be made of recycled material. Utensils, lids and condiment packages have to be given upon request. Bags and containers for things like raw meat and flowers are exempt.

Teaneck

Stores must charge 5 cents for plastic carry-out bags. Fines of up to $250. This has been in place since July 2018.

Ventnor City

Since October 2018, stores have been required to charge 5 cents for paper and plastic carry-out bags. Customers on welfare are exempt.

Any other towns we missed? Send us an email.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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