New Zealand Plastic Bags Ban

In an effort to cut down on plastic-bag use, Margate is launching a new program that will have businesses distribute 10,000 reusable bags to customers.

{child_flags:breaking}NJ Gov. Murphy to veto bill that would place fee on plastic bags

{child_byline}MICHELLE BRUNETTI POST

Staff Writer{/child_byline}

TOMS RIVER — Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to soon veto a bill, passed by the Legislature in June, that would require merchants to charge a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags, according to Senate Environment Committee Chairman Bob Smith, D-Piscataway.

Smith announced the veto Thursday morning at a joint committee meeting at Toms River City Hall on how to deal with plastics pollution, filled mostly with advocates of banning single-use plastics instead of enacting a fee.

The room erupted into applause.

The Governor’s Office declined to comment on Smith’s announcement, but other legislators at the committee hearing said they had also heard the absolute veto is coming, perhaps Monday.

The announcement was originally worded as though Gov. Murphy had already vetoed the bill, but Smith later clarified the bill is to be vetoed soon.

The bill Murphy will likely veto was opposed by many local legislators, environmentalists, fishing interests and others who felt it didn’t do enough to keep plastics out of the state’s waterways. They felt people would simply pay the small fee, 4 cents of which would have gone to the state and 1 cent would have been kept by the merchant.

The bill would also have prevented towns and counties from enacting their own bans or fees. Brigantine last week introduced a bag-ban bill in a bid to get ahead of any action by the governor.

Many in attendance said they support passage of S2776, which would ban single-use plastic bags, straws and other items.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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