On May 4, New Jersey's single-use plastic bag ban went into effect. Since then it's wreaked nothing but havoc.

Supermarkets are watching their plastic baskets being taken, and people either forget to bring their bags or take shopping carts to the car where they have to load their merch. Some probably took up juggling, which we're used to doing in New Jersey just to make ends meet.

It's gotten so bad that the powers that be are weighing the idea of bringing back paper bags as the unwanted reusable bags pile up.

By the way, if you're looking for a place to donate your reusable bag, see Eric Scott's post here.

ban reusable bags plastic back during coronavirus COVID-19 emergency
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Only in New Jersey would we ban plastic bags to save the birds and fish but go with paper which would kill the trees. By the way, wasn't it the fear of killing the trees that got us to the evil single-use plastic bag in the first place?

So as New Jersey continues to chase its environmental tail with this bag ban, here's what stores should do. Instead of making you pay for the reusable bag, why not just give it to the customer and absorb the cost which the store can write off?

Plastic bags at a CVS store
Plastic bags at a CVS store (OCSN)

They could even make it a deal. For every $50 dollars spent, you will be given one reusable bag. If the store is spending less than a dollar on the actual bag, wouldn't it be worth it?

Another idea would be if a store set up recycling bins by the entrances inviting people to bring their extra reusable bags for donation that customers could take as they need. People helping people. What a concept!

If you were to choose between the store, be it grocery, department, mall, or Mom and Pop that were giving you bags vs the ones that weren't figuring the prices were basically the same, which would you pick?

I think this is an idea that should definitely not be bagged! See what I did there?

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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