Will Montclair Join Other New Jersey Towns And Prohibit Single-Use Plastic Bags?

Montclair Township Council will introduce an ordinance prohibiting single-use plastic bags at Tuesday night’s Montclair Council meeting.

At least 17 municipalities and one county in New Jersey already have plastic bag regulations in effect, according to NJ.com.

Support for the ban comes from Montclair resident Keeley Gorman, who has sent a petition to Mayor Jackson, supporting the movement to make Montclair plastic-bag free.

Gorman writes…

I have lived in Montclair my entire life, and I’ve come to greatly appreciate nature because of our beautiful parks and bustling town. I want to do everything I can to keep our town as well as our planet clean, and that process starts small. Ideally, we’d all be able to give up plastic tomorrow, but that’s not sustainable for everyone. However, it is sustainable to say no to plastic bags as a town! Whether you’re just one person, a business, or the mayor’s office, your impact would be huge. It is fiscally and environmentally more responsible to refuse single-use plastic as much as possible!

You can sign Gorman’s petition here. Read the ordinance here.

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  1. I’m disappointed by the pushback from the Upper Montclair Business Association. While I understand plastics overall account for only 10% of the waste stream, they are a deadend recyclable (see “downcycling”). The typical plastics (e.g. water bottles), can generally only be recycled once and for lesser quality uses like fill. Then it goes into the waste stream. So, recycling plastic is temporarily delaying its entry into the waste stream.

    Non-employer businesses (owner operated) make up about 75% of businesses in the US. Small businesses with 20 or less employees make up almost 90% of US businesses. If you look at it on a transaction level – not on a volume basis – small businesses make up the bulk of retail transactions. So, we are not educating the consumer about wasteful packaging – which should be our primary goal. In we limit reusable bags to large retailers, we are actually training this generation to use one-time bags for a majority of their transactions.

    Unfortunately, replacing one-time plastic bags with reusable plastic bags is helpful, but not a big win for the environment. Each reusable plastic bag must be used many hundreds of times to negate a household’s use of one-time bags. Bottomline, we need to reduce the amount of packaging.

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