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N.J. Made It a Year Without Plastic Bags but Straws Continue to Be Hard to Let Go

Updated: Jun 20

May 6, 2023 |

One year after New Jersey’s strict single-use plastic bag ban began, environmental advocates say it has led to much less plastic in our waste stream — an estimated 8.4 billion plastic bags in just the first year, according to Linda Doherty, CEO of the NJ Food Council.

NJ SEED: The government affairs director for the NJ Restaurant & Hospitality Association observed that sustainability laws can be well-meaning but challenging especially when businesses are dealing with the aftereffects of a pandemic, inflation, and supply chain interruptions. Small business owners in particular face countless unfunded mandates out of Trenton and a simple mistake on a law like plastic bag and straw bans could land them $1,000 or $5,000 fines. To small business operators that’s real money.

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