It won't be much longer before plastic bags are banned in New Jersey. And signs of this ban are already becoming evident in many retail locations.

For example, plastic bag holders now sit vacant at registers across many stores. And storage areas that were once full of boxes with plastic bags are now empty.

In place of plastic bags, many retailers are selling their own branded reusable bags. And convenient for shoppers, they're usually displayed at or near the registers. That's especially helpful for those who may not have any bags with them.

Soon, that storage bin at home where all those plastic bags are stored will no longer fill up. On top of that, plastic bags won't need to be brought back to the store for recycling (you know, those bins that always seem to be overstuffed with bags).

Disposable plastic bags
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But for pet owners, this may be a downside. One big perk of having all those plastic bags around was to use when taking dogs on a walk. Just think about it. A free inventory of bags specifically for this purpose. Where else would you find a deal like that?

dog leather leash
damedeeso
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Just grab however many bags that may be needed for your time out with your pet, and you're all set. Whenever your dog has to go, you'll be right there with an easy way to clean up after them.

For pet owners who rely on this method, it presents a problem. What do you do once the plastic bag inventory at home runs out?

Plastic shopping bag
Plastic shopping bag (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)
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Well, there are some options to go with. One of which is to buy dog bags specifically for this purpose.

What many may not be aware of is that some of these bags are biodegradable. So once the bags get thrown away, they'll naturally decompose. And with New Jersey's plastic bag ban, expect to see much more of this at stores.

Money in wallet
Nopphon Pattanasri
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Of course, there's the concern of cost. Now, these particular types of bags aren't that expensive. Nor are the reusable bags for store shopping.

And if cost is a potential issue, there are certainly other options and methods worth exploring. However, there is one option that has to be avoided with trying to save a few bucks.

The signs are everywhere
Mike Brant - Townsquare Media
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Do not let your dog go wherever they want and not clean up after them. That's pure laziness and extremely inconsiderate. And quite frankly, it says a lot about a person if this is their solution.

Now, this isn't a new problem that exists. We see this a lot more than we care to when going on walks, and it's flat-out rude.

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Getty Images/iStockphoto
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But yet, some dog owners take it a step further and let their dog do their business right on the sidewalk or road and just leave it. It's shameful, and dog owners who purposefully do this shouldn't own a pet at all.

This unfortunate practice seemed to have increased throughout the pandemic. And now with this plastic ban across the state, there are fears this problem might get worse.

Simply put: Clean up
Mike Brant - Townsquare Media
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So if you're someone who uses plastic bags to clean up after your dog, please don't become lazy and not clean up after them once those bags are no longer an option for you.

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Stephanie Deissner
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And yes, those inconsiderate dog owners will still be out there who, in my opinion, don't deserve to have a pet at all. But I know for the vast majority of us, we'll do the right thing while walking our dogs.

Learning to keep control - The Leash
Mike Brant - Townsquare Media
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