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Bill S-812 in the NJ State senate proposes a five cent fee on all plastic and paper bags. The bill got out of committee in Dec 2012, and has been languishing in the Senate because state Senators hear more opposition than support. The Assembly counterpart A3787 has been relegated to the Consumer Affairs Committee. We need to make some noise and contact our reps and senators to let them know these bills have widespread support. They need to know we are sick of paying for these bags (cost of the bag hidden in the cost of the purchases, even when you bring your own bag), then paying to dispose of them, then paying to clean them up when the bags float/fly away, and being disgusted when we see them all over the place. Unnecessary plastic! There is an online petition too: http://www.signon.org/sign/vot…..lastic-bag.
We need to build a big coalition of organizations that represent a whole bunch of votes to sway our Senators and Reps. Right now, the NJ Food Council is the loudest voice in the discussion, and this grocery store lobby does not want the bill passed. You can find your State elected officials at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/ . Even if you don’t know who they are, look under Districts on the left column, and you can find yours easily.
Let’s be the first State to pass a law like this all at once (Hawaii gets credit for being first state to do so county by county).
As of right now, the bills are unlikely to pass unless NJers raise their voices, write letters, and communicate to their elected people that we want this. I really look forward to when NJ catches up to some common sense sustainability practices from the West Coast.
Please tell anyone you know in NJ about this. It would be great to see a big wave of support for this idea. And it will save us lots of bucks on disposal of the bags, and having to pay the embedded costs of the bags in what we buy.
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