- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Shoppers in New Jersey are dealing with a glut of reusable bags after the state banned single-use plastic bags earlier this year.

Online grocery shoppers in particular are stuck with growing piles of tote bags because delivery drivers will often use them to drop off grocery orders.   

“We know it’s a problem. We agree it’s a problem,” state Sen. Bob Smith, a Democrat who co-sponsored the bill banning plastic bags, told NJ.com that 

His proposed solution: Allow grocery deliveries to use paper bags or cardboard boxes instead. 

Those alternatives are easier to dispose of responsibly, Mr. Smith said. However, the law would need to be amended since it currently doesn’t allow big box grocers to use either of those packing materials.

The law has produced other unforeseen consequences. 

Grocers across the state said last month that shoppers who forgot to bring reusable bags will steal the store’s handheld plastic baskets.

“While most customers have adapted, unfortunately, our members have seen an uptick in customers taking the store baskets and not returning them,” Mary Ellen Peppard, the vice president of the New Jersey Food Council, told NJ.com. “These baskets are expensive and some stores have decided not to replace the baskets.”

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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