PARAMUS — A Bergen County town with four large shopping centers could be the next to institute a ban on plastic bags.

As bans on plastic bags, cups and straws took effect on June 1 in several New Jersey communities, the Borough Council of Paramus introduced the ordinance last week and will work with the Paramus Environmental Commission in the coming days on a final version, according to the North Jersey Record.

The Paramus ban has exceptions, including for bags that hold frozen foods, potted plants, drug store prescriptions and dry cleaning. Pet waste bags, produce bags and newspaper bags are also exempt.

Brigantine, Avalon and Stone Harbor joined the list on Saturday of towns banning plastic bags. If its ban is approved, Paramus would join a list of New Jersey communities already banning their use including all of Atlantic County, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Hoboken, Hopewell, Long Beach, Monmouth Beach and Somers Point.

Paramus is home to Garden State Plaza and Paramus Park, two of the busiest malls in the country.

Avalon and Stone Harbor are also banning plastic straws and foam carry-out containers. Paramus mayor Richard LaBarbiera told the Record a ban on plastic utensils will not be included in the final version of the bill, nor will an option to buy paper bags at 10 cents per bag.

John Holub, president of the NJ Retail Merchants Association, told the newspaper that his group is not in favor of the ban and called it "misguided."

State Senator Bob Smith has announced his intention to expand a proposal for a ban on single-use plastics to also include disposal paper bags statewide. He and fellow Democratic state Senator Linda Greenstein sponsored the original proposal last fall, which would charge 10 cents for disposable paper bags.

It came on the heels of Gov. Phil Murphy vetoing a 2018 measure that would have imposed a 5 cent tax on plastic and paper disposable bags across NJ.

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

Previous reporting by Erin Vogt was used in this report

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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