MARLTON, N.J. (CBS) — A new law that will change South Jersey families’ shopping habits is just weeks away. The state is starting one of the strictest plastic bag bans in the nation, and stores that don’t follow it could face thousands of dollars in fines.
Families will experience the most changes inside their grocery stores, where they must use reusable bags. But like with any law, there are exceptions tucked into the text.READ MORE: Father Of 18-Year-Old Killed In Sand Collapse On Toms River Beach Shares Message Remembering Son
Lou and Margaret Papa admit they’re not ready for next month’s bag ban.
“You wind up going back and forth to the market more often, and I see that as using more fuel and more traffic, gas, all that stuff so it doesn’t make any sense,” Lou said.
“We’ll have to get used to it,” Margaret said. “There’s nothing we can do.”
While single-use bags are checking out of grocery stores, they’re not going away entirely.
Restaurants, convenience stores and retail shops can still throw items into single-use paper bags, and takeout restaurants can place meals in plastic, paper, or aluminum containers.READ MORE: Former Giants CB James Bradberry Agrees To Terms On 1-Year Deal With Philadelphia Eagles
Grocery stores can still put out plastic bags for produce.
Rastelli Market Fresh store manager Chris Dougherty says they’ve been warning customers about the ban in-person and online. On May 4, they’ll have extra staff to help customers check out.
“We want to make it as seamless as possible for our guests,” Dougherty said.
Because if they don’t follow the ban, they could face escalating fines of up to $5,000 a day for repeat offenders.
Julia Hanapole says the extra couple of dollars to buy bags is worth it. She lived in Hong Kong, where reusable bags were widespread.
“You keep them in your car and you get used to it,” she said. “It’ll take maybe a month or so, but people will get it.”MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania US Senate Race Between Republicans Mehmet Oz, Dave McCormick Too Close To Call
This single-use bag ban does apply to online grocery orders, but a state senator introduced a bill to temporarily delay the ban for those orders.