Disappointed with the New Jersey’s governor veto of legislation that would impose a five-cent per bag fee on certain single-use bags, the president of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) vowed to work with the governor and legislators to amend the bill.
Linda Doherty, NJFC president, said, “We believe the proposed fee on single-use bags was the most impactful solution to reducing both paper and plastic bags in our solid-waste stream and a giant first step towards a plastic bag ban. We remain committed to working with the administration, legislative leaders and stakeholders on a statewide policy and stand ready to roll up our sleeves and develop a viable bag program for New Jersey in the coming months.”
Murphy agreed, in principle, that single-use, carryout bags—particularly plastic bags—represent a significant source of litter on New Jersey’s shoreline, in parks and the cities’ sewer systems. In a statement on why he vetoed the legislation, Murphy noted the bill is well intentioned but remains “incomplete and insufficient.”
“Instituting a 5-cent fee on single-use bags that only applies to certain retailers does not go far enough to address the problems created by over reliance on plastic bags and other single-use, carryout bags. In order to make a real difference, a single-use bag program must be devised and applied more broadly and consistently in a manner that would avoid loopholes that undermine the ultimate purpose of the program.”
Murphy called for a more robust and comprehensive method of reducing the number of single-use bags in New Jersey. Murphy said he is heartened by “thoughtful and constructive discussion” in recent legislative hearings and said he is eager to work collaboratively with legislators to craft “more concrete solutions to this issue.”
NJFC represents 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in New Jersey.