On Thursday, the Assembly Appropriations Committee released Assembly Bill No. 1978 (Pinkin D-18, Kennedy D-22, and McKeon D-27) and Senate Bill No. 864 (Smith D-17 and Greenstein D-14).
These bills would ban single use plastic and paper bags as well as polystyrene foam containers. The bans would take effect in 18 months. The committee vote was along party lines. These bills now go to the full Assembly and, if passed without amendment, would be sent to the Governor for signature.
NJBIA opposed these bills due to the polystyrene ban. Many others had concerns either with the bans on single use plastic or paper or with the definition of a reusable bag which is more stringent than laws adopted in other states. No other state has banned paper bags.
While voting out the bills, committee members expressed various concerns especially with the paper bag ban. They indicated that more amendments will be likely. If the bill is further amended, it would need to be sent back to the Senate for concurrence.
Last session, a bill that would have imposed a charge on plastic bags was sent to Gov. Phil Murphy, but it was vetoed.