Single-Use Plastic Bans Are Increasing

Acme, Whole Foods, Kings, CVS, etc. – the big box stores in Montclair are complying with the ordinance to not give out single use plastic bags.  Some stores are offering reminders to customers to take their reusables – like the sign in the Acme parking lot in the picture below. Shoppers seem to have easily made the transition to using reusable bags.

The Montclair Environmental Commission is eager to work with retailers, shoppers and the Town Council to craft an amendment for single-use plastic bag reduction applicable to smaller retailers.  Stakeholder meetings will be scheduled once social distancing restrictions are lifted and normal business resumes.

Meanwhile, progress is being made at the state level.  The New Jersey Senate has passed S864 bill which bans single-use plastic and paper carryout bags, polystyrene foam foodservice products and restricts the use of single-use plastic straws. The bill will not become law until it is passed by the NJ Assembly and signed by the Governor. Some municipalities are moving forward with their own ordinances.  On March 31, 2020 the Maplewood Township Committee passed a ban on the use of polystyrene foam containers for use by any food provider businesses in the town, effective October 1, 2020.  The ban also disallows the Township from making a purchase of any polystyrene foam containers or using them for any Township-sponsored events.