Plastic bag ban takes full affect in NJ stores

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On May 4th, 2022, New Jersey established a new law banning single-use plastic bags in all stores. According to the website Tap into Westfield, “Restaurants can still use paper bags for take out, but no plastic bags and no polystyrene containers” (Beher). This ban on the plastic bags is causing controversy among Edison students, staff, and town citizens because of opposing viewpoints. Some people believe that this ban is inconvenient and ineffective. However, there are positive outcomes as well, such as helping the environment and becoming a greener state.  

Many Edison school staff accept this plastic bag ban in stores. They believe that getting rid of plastic bags will benefit the environment. The plastic bag ban reduces the plastic pollution in the ocean. Sixth grader Wren Gras declared, “I used to live by the ocean and I used to do monthly cleanups and there was always so much plastic getting in the water, so I agree with the plastic bag ban.”  

In addition, plastic can be very harmful to animals, and it can destroy their habitats. 

 “The most visible impacts of plastic debris are the ingestion, suffocation and entanglement of hundreds of marine species. Marine wildlife such as seabirds, whales, fish and turtles mistake plastic waste for prey; most then die of starvation as their stomachs become filled with plastic”  (IUCN). This quote further explains that plastic is very harmful to marine life habitats. Therefore, banning plastic bags can help protect animals from plastic pollution.  

Some people argue that the ban is not worth it because it is too inconvenient, and removing plastic bags from retail stores barely benefits the environment. However, the ban prevents plastic pollution in the environment. Eighth grade student Gemma LoGrippo, gave her insightful opinion. “I have kind of mixed opinions because on one hand, it might help the environment, but on the other hand, it’s not convenient. I feel like having plastic bags in stores was really helpful.”