Months later, NJ is still not used to the plastic bag ban (Opinion)
If there’s one thing we people from New Jersey are it’s stubborn.
Superstorm Sandy taking out your business and your home? You stay. You rebuild.
Flimflam Florio taxing everything under the sun? You band together. You get him out of office.
Even our habits are stubborn.
For those of us who weren’t kidding ourselves into thinking a reusable grocery bag was going to save the planet when you have other nations literally dumping their garbage straight into the oceans, May 4 was an unwanted game changer. That’s the day single-use plastic bags were banned in the state of New Jersey. So were plastic straws unless requested, Styrofoam food containers, etc. Progressive Gov. Phil Murphy proudly thumped his chest that this was the nation’s strictest plastic ban on record.
So even the many of us who saw the flaws in this virtue signaling program were forced to get on board, buy reusable totes, and start shopping in a way we never had to before.
My biggest problem? I keep forgetting to put the empty bags back into my car the next time I go shopping. And I’m not the only one. Here’s an example of the result.
This is one corner of my kitchen. We will call it the bag corner. I’ve been caught so many times halfway through my grocery shopping that I realize I never brought the reusable bags with me. So you end up buying even more reusable bags that you really didn’t need if you weren’t so forgetful.
Like I said. Even our habits are stubborn in New Jersey.
In that picture, there are bags stuffed to the max with other bags and my guesstimate is a good 48 right there. I should really only need a dozen max.
Then there’s this.
Yes, even more bags on the kitchen table from my last trip because again I forgot to bring the stupid bags with me because I’m stupid I guess. Or stubborn. Whatever.
Oh, here’s a random one.
I don’t even remember how this Yankees bag got onto the kitchen counter but there it is. These pictures don’t even extend into the garage where there’s probably another 12 bags.
I’m not the only one. We took calls on this and so many of us are doing the same thing. We’re simply living busy lives with lots of other New Jersey-born problems such as how am I possibly going to pay my property taxes this quarter? And we forget. And when we forget we end up buying bags we didn’t need.
What to do with all these? Clearly, the first step is we must all start remembering. I’m a failure at this and therefore have no advice as to how.
Second, if you want to make something good out of this ridiculous new law we know that there are New Jersey food banks that could very much use supplies of these bags. If you contact your local food bank you might find a new home for them if you’d care to donate.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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