May 26, 2022

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Banning plastic bags in New Jersey: These bags were great for small trash cans. What now?

When a group of seniors at Patterson High School team up with Ramapo College Checking the use of bags — single-use and reusable plastic — in northern New Jersey in 2018, they likely had no idea the state would be just four years away from tackling this problem head-on.

New Jersey Strict ban on single-use plastic bags In most stores across the state it takes effect next month. Some of the main points that led to the ban were similar to what the students found in their studies.

But there is something most of us can probably relate to:

“Our students (also) surveyed people asking what they reused plastic bags for, and a very popular answer was trash. “People said they used them to pack trash cans in small paper baskets or in trash containers,” Suarez told NJ Advance Media. Kitchen”.

When the suitcase ban begins, residents will no longer have the constant, free supply of suitcases that they used to install around bins in bedrooms, offices and bathrooms.

So, what should you know about the ban on single-use plastic bags in New Jersey? And what are some tips to keep in mind because reusable bags for small litter boxes usually go by the wayside?

What you need to know about bag bans

New Jersey will ban the distribution of single-use plastic bags and certain types of takeaway food containers starting May 4, 2022.

When it takes effect, it likely will be The country’s strictest plastic bag ban It also prohibits grocery stores over 2,500 square feet from giving or selling paper bags to registered customers.

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Can I still buy plastic trash bags?

The The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reminds residents Ordinary trash bags will not be pulled off the shelves once the bag ban starts. Pet litter bags and Ziploc bags will still be available.

“Purchasing trash bags in stores is still allowed in stores,” the agency says online.

So those plastic bags that are usually handed over at the counter in grocery stores or served at delis will not be available for you to store at home and reuse. And with them all banned in New Jersey, it wouldn’t be as easy as heading to another city to get free bags to hide away.

Related: New Jersey’s plastic bag ban begins in a month. Stores will start reminding you soon.

What can I use instead of a plastic trash bag?

When your supplies run out, you’ll need to find some alternatives.

“Consider using paper, biodegradable, biodegradable, vegetable bags, or just fewer bags with washable trash receptacles,” Suarez said. “Separation of trash is very helpful in keeping litter boxes clean.”

Suarez recommends putting recyclables in one container (“no bag needed if you rinse cans and bottles”), paper in another and biodegradable waste in a compost bin.

Want to take it a step further? Throw in the compost pile in your yard with foliage and grass extracts and make your own rich soil for your garden, Suarez said.

“All of these choices require almost no extra work, just a change of habits. There is a lot of advice on the internet, from lining boxes with newspaper to using reusable and washing bags when they get dirty,” she added.

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The New Jersey Business Action Center provides a list of suppliers that sell sustainable bags. to view file List click here And enter your name and email address.

While some people will just go to buy small, single-use plastic bags or regular trash bags online, Suarez said she hopes the bag ban will encourage a better approach to waste reduction and disposal in the future.

“With more bag bans, I think we’re going to see more vegetable-based and other compostable alternatives to litter,” she said.

The following bags are good alternatives:

Effective May 4, 2022, grocery stores, food service companies, and other retail stores in New Jersey are prohibited from providing or selling customers single-use plastic bags. What should designers, who used to reuse bags in small trash baskets at home, do to prepare?

What else can I do to prepare for the loss of these single-use plastic bags?

Keri Sendall, assistant professor of biology at Rider University, says that reusing the single-use plastic bags you get in the store for litter boxes is a good and more environmentally friendly practice than not reusing these bags at all. Thus, it is best to reuse any stock of bags you have left for litter boxes.

“Any way we reuse[these plastic bags]reduces the amount of plastic we produce,” she said.

But you don’t have to wait until May 4th to start banning your personal bags.

“When I shop now usually if they package my purchases, I take the plastic bag and try to use it for something else,” Sindal said, noting future DIY projects, dog litter, and grocery shopping are among the options. “Sometimes when you say you don’t want it, (employees) end up putting it in their trash, so I take them” at this point.

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Should I store single-use plastic bags for my litter boxes in April?

number!

You may be tempted to grab more (Or a few dozen more) Plastic bags run through April before the ban, but experts and officials hope residents will adopt the ban and reduce the amount of plastic they use.

For those looking to dispose of the plastic bags they have collected at home over the years, the Roll Recycling Action Program, a national public awareness campaign, Provides an online search tool Find a recycling bin near you.

For more information about ban visit nj.com/plasticbagban. Still have questions about the plastic bag ban in New Jersey? Ask them here.

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Stephen Rodas can be reached at [email protected].