Maplewood prohibits single use plastic bags

jamie

Prohibition of Single Use Plastic Bags at Retail Establishments:

Frequently Asked Questions

Starting on July 1, 2019 single use plastic check out bags will be prohibited at all retail establishments within the Township of Maplewood.

Below are a list of frequently asked questions we have received from retailers and stakeholders regarding Ordinance #2946-19:

What counts as a check-out bag? Bags given to the customer at the point of sale, product bags used move items to the check-out area are not check-out bags.

What if dampness issues make the use of paper bags impractical? Products where dampness is an issue are exempted from the plastic bag prohibition.

When does the paper check-out bag fee go into effect? September 1st, 2019

Where does the 5 cents fee for paper check-out bags go?  The fee is kept by the store to offset the cost of the paper bags.

How is the paper check-out bag fee collected? Are the merchants supposed to document the bag purchase somehow?

The merchant collects the fee at the point of sale. The fee must appear on the receipt for the purchase. 

What about bags that come into direct contact with food? If food is in direct contact with a paper bag, there is no charge for the paper bag.

Is there a fee for paper gift bags? Yes, the ordinance does not exempt gift bags.

Are seniors and recipients of public assistance exempt from the paper bag fee?  Do they need to show ID?  Seniors and recipients of public assistance are exempt, no ID is required.

What should I do if I have a large supply of plastic check-out bags already purchased for use in my store?  Contact the Director of Community Development for a temporary exemption. They can be reached at 973-762-8120 Ext. 3400 

What does a store need to do to use compostable check-out bags? A retail establishment providing compostable check-out bags will need to comply with the guidelines for compostable check-out bags as set forth in the ordinance:

Compostable plastic bags shall meet current American Society for Testing & Materials  (ASTM) D6400 Standard Specifications for compostability and be labeled: (1) With the Biodegradable Product Institute (“BPI”) logo as meeting the ASTM standard for compostability and (2) With the word “Compostable” on the bag in lettering that is readily and easily identifiable.

A retail establishment providing compostable bags shall operate an at-store recycling program so that customers may return the compostable bags. Such program shall, at a minimum, include at least one accessible and highly visible compostable bag collection box and signs at each register informing customers that compostable bags should be returned to the store and not placed in household recycling or compost piles.

A retail establishment providing compostable bags shall provide the Director of the Department of Community Development with a signed agreement with an authorized compostable recycling facility to accept the compostable bags collected at the retail establishment.


jmitw

so someone can just say they are a senior or get public assistance are exempt?  a public assistance card would be ID.


I get it, a lot of people insist on acting like a$$es and just trash the environment, but I know I will get hate for this....MY PLASTIC BAGS ARE NOT SINGLE USE.  I have severe non allergic rhinitis...I have wastepaper baskets all over my home using the alleged single use bags for garbage.  I regularly use them for other purposes (especially the ones with small holes) for example, I have a pair of shoes that got muddy--still filthy even after I wiped them off...but I keep them for when I will be in the mud again...and stored them in an alleged single use bag.  When I walked a dog, used them to pick up after the dog....all this law would do is force me to spend money on plastic bags....money I don't have since I am actually severely disabled and my only income is SSDI....its not fair that I get punished because others act stupid.

I also have short term memory issues...I will forget to bring reusable bags (that I can't afford to buy in the 1st place) to the store or will leave  them in my car....the cheap bags that are $1 tend to rip and don't really last that long ..creating more expense to replace.....or front a lot more money for a study bag.....

Maplewood alone is not a big deal as I get most of my plastic bags elsewhere (ie Target), but with more towns implementing the law, they will be hard to get....except to buy a box of bags.




STANV
jmitw said:



money I don't have since I am actually severely disabled and my only income is SSDI....its not fair that I get punished because others act stupid.



 That's "public assistance". 


ml1
STANV said:
 That's "public assistance". 

 problem solved 


drummerboy

Unfortunately the only way to make progress in reducing our gross habits of resource misuse is to mandate it at a governmental level.  

Spending a few bucks on a good quality reusable bag seems to be a pretty minor cost in the grand scheme of things. If you can't afford that, that's the least of your problems.

Anyway, the loopholes for this law are about the size of a tractor-trailer. But it's a start.



sac

I've been using reusable plastic/cloth bags for years, partly for environmental reasons but also because you can fill them up with more stuff (if you wish) and the handles rarely break and don't dig into your hands so I just prefer them. Yes, I sometimes forget to bring them into the store, but over time that has happened less and less often. I try to keep them in the trunk of my car, so I rarely get to the store parking lot without them and it isn't that hard to go back out to the car when I forget to bring them in.

Yes, I line my trash cans with the plastic bags which are still very numerous in my house, despite my fairly extensive use of reusables.  Somehow I think it will be a long time before we get to the point where we have to purchase bags to line our trash cans but if we do, so be it.  It will mean that there is a lot less plastic out there crapping up our oceans, etc.

My wish is that someone would mandate that those narrow bags used for newspapers (and then reused for doggy poop bags) be compostable.  


HatsOff
sac said:

My wish is that someone would mandate that those narrow bags used for newspapers (and then reused for doggy poop bags) be compostable.  

That would be great, and add in banning the distribution of unsolicited flyers etc. in plastic bags. I don’t get a physical newspaper but we get far too many of those damn junk papers in plastic baggies.

I love the new ordinance and it is one more reason to spend my dollars in Maplewood! 


jmitw
STANV said:


jmitw said:



money I don't have since I am actually severely disabled and my only income is SSDI....its not fair that I get punished because others act stupid.
 That's "public assistance". 

 no its not...public assistance is welfare.....SSDi is disability insurance.......and the fee waiver is for paper bags....problem not solved..


sac
HatsOff said:


sac said:

My wish is that someone would mandate that those narrow bags used for newspapers (and then reused for doggy poop bags) be compostable.  
That would be great, and add in banning the distribution of unsolicited flyers etc. in plastic bags. I don’t get a physical newspaper but we get far too many of those damn junk papers in plastic baggies.
I love the new ordinance and it is one more reason to spend my dollars in Maplewood! 

You can call the toll free number on those bags to stop them from throwing those bags with the sales flyers.  For a year or two I had to call back every few months but I must have finally convinced them because I have not had one thrown in my yard in several years.

However, I agree that they shouldn't do it in the first place.


yahooyahoo

The ordinance has so many exceptions, it's relatively toothless.

Disappointing.


joan_crystal
jmitw said:
so someone can just say they are a senior or get public assistance are exempt?  a public assistance card would be ID.


I get it, a lot of people insist on acting like a$$es and just trash the environment, but I know I will get hate for this....MY PLASTIC BAGS ARE NOT SINGLE USE.  I have severe non allergic rhinitis...I have wastepaper baskets all over my home using the alleged single use bags for garbage.  I regularly use them for other purposes (especially the ones with small holes) for example, I have a pair of shoes that got muddy--still filthy even after I wiped them off...but I keep them for when I will be in the mud again...and stored them in an alleged single use bag.  When I walked a dog, used them to pick up after the dog....all this law would do is force me to spend money on plastic bags....money I don't have since I am actually severely disabled and my only income is SSDI....its not fair that I get punished because others act stupid.
I also have short term memory issues...I will forget to bring reusable bags (that I can't afford to buy in the 1st place) to the store or will leave  them in my car....the cheap bags that are $1 tend to rip and don't really last that long ..creating more expense to replace.....or front a lot more money for a study bag.....
Maplewood alone is not a big deal as I get most of my plastic bags elsewhere (ie Target), but with more towns implementing the law, they will be hard to get....except to buy a box of bags.

 I agree with you that single use plastic carry out bags are far from single use for many persons in our community.  They are great for storing foods in the refrigerator or freezer that might otherwise leak over other foods, causing cross contamination. They are perfect as a replacement for small kitchen bags used to line waste baskets in the kitchen or bathroom. They are great for keeping things dry that might otherwise get wet in a rain storm or keeping wet things from making other things wet when coming back from the gym, beach, or pool. They are perfectly designed for picking up dog poop and for transferring used cat litter to the garbage for disposal.  Studies I have read show that when single use plastic bags are banned, they are often replaced by bags using even more plastic that have to be purchased for one or more specific purposes that single use plastic bags are used for now.  I agree with the above poster who wrote that if the attempt is to remove plastics from the waste stream, the single use plastic bags are the low hanging fruit that can be addressed most easily at the municipal level.  The far greater culprit in my opinion is the packaging industry which seems to wrap everything these days in multiple layers of cardboard and plastic.  This ordinance seems to me to be a feel good measure on the one hand and a first step on the other.  Hopefully, the problem can be addressed on a more global level as replacements/alternatives can be found for other disposable uses of plastic throughout our planet.

The ordinance exempts two main groups of consumers: those who receive public assistance for purchasing food (previously known as food stamps) and those who are at least 65 years of age.  ID is not required to show that a customer fits either category.  That said, the person receiving public assistance for food purchases will need to present a card to receive that assistance for their food purchases so this is not so much an honor system for them and the age 65+ group will have to be willing and able to tell the person at check out that their age, which some may be reluctant to do.  The group that is not covered specifically by the ordinance are the so called working poor and those with 100% disability who do not receive public assistance for food purchases but whose income is so low that the 5 cent per bag fee puts a real strain on their ability to afford necessities. Even those who are exempt from the bag charge will need to know that they exempt and this is often these are likely to be among the hardest groups in our community to reach with the information since they are among the least likely to have Internet access by choice or by necessity.

Reusable bags are available for free from a variety of sources, often as giveaways by local businesses and organizations as a form of advertising.  The Green Team recently conducted a reusable bag drive, asking residents to donate bags they did not need themselves.  These bags will be given at no charge to those who need them.  The town has announced that they will be passing out free bags at the train station this Monday evening.  You may want to stop by and see what is on offer.  This does not eliminate the need to purchase plastic bags or a workable substitute that was not needed previously but it will eliminate the need to spend money on reusable bags at this point in time.




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