Jersey City will become the first major city in New Jersey to ban the use of single-use plastic bags on Friday.
Ordinance 18-065, passed by the city council in 2018, prohibits retailers from providing single-use plastic bags and non-recyclable paper bags at checkout.
Businesses that fail to comply with the ordinance are subject to a minimum $100 fine per infraction.
“The production and disposal of single-use checkout bags has significant environmental impacts, including the contamination of the environment, the depletion of natural resources, use of non-renewable polluting fossil fuels, and the increased clean-up and disposal costs,” the ordinance reads.
The New Jersey Food Council applauded the intent behind the ordinance but indicated there was a better way to go about plastic bag policy.
“We applaud municipalities that are concerned with the environment and that is the reason we believe New Jersey needs one unified single-use disposable bag policy for both plastic and paper that will cut down on customer confusion and promote reusable bags whether it’s a large city or a small shore town,” said NJFC President Linda Doherty.
Mayor Steven Fulop will spend the day Friday visiting grocery stores to promote the use of reusable bags.