Plastic bag ban takes effect in New Jersey town

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Anthony Johnson reports on the plastic bag ban in Hoboken.

The city of Hoboken is ditching single-use plastic bags at all retail and food establishments starting Tuesday.

Under the new ban, businesses must charge customers 10 to 25 cents for paper bags. The fee is collected and kept by the business to help cover the cost of purchasing the compliant bags.

Officials are also handing out free re-usable bags at various locations around the city.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla hopes the new policy will reduce pollution and the city's impact on climate change.

The ban, originally drafted by Councilman Jim Doyle and the Hoboken Green Team, was passed unanimously by the City Council and signed into law on June 22, 2018.

"Hoboken is committed to environmentally friendly policies that help mitigate the impact of climate change and reduce pollution on our streets," Bhalla said. "This ban, initiated by the Hoboken Green Team, will go a long way to reducing Hoboken's reliance on harmful plastic bags, and I'm proud Hoboken is at the forefront of progressive environmental policies."

Residents are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags whenever possible.

The following bags are still allowed for free:
--Produce bags (fruits and vegetables)
--Product bags (packaging)
--Bags used to contain frozen foods, meat, fish, flowers, plants or baked goods
--Pharmacy prescription bags
--Newspaper bags
--Laundry or dry-cleaning bags
--Packages of multiple bags (food storage bags, garbage bags, pet waste bags)

The city will consider a request for a temporary exemption from the plastic bag ban under extraordinary circumstances. Businesses must fill out a form, FOUND HERE, to be considered.

Bhalla and the Hoboken Green Team will be handing out free reusable bags, obtained through a Clean Communities grant, at the following events:
--Mutzfest: January 27, 2-6 PM at Hoboken Elks Lodge
--Hoboken State of the City Address: January 29, 6:30 PM at Stevens Institute of Technology
--Stevens Institute of Technology: January 30 at 3 PM at Pierce Dining Hall

For more information on the new plastic bag regulations, please visit HobokenNJ.gov/plasticbags.

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