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Legislature Mulls Plastic Bag Tax

A New Jersey Senate committee voted last week to approve a new 5-cent fee for plastic supermarket bags that will fund environmental cleanup.

A new Senate bill could have you paying for plastic bags at the grocery store.  

The Carryout Bag Reduction and Recycling Act was approved by a 4-0 vote of the Senate Environmental Energy Committee last week and would require stores to charge a 5-cent fee per plastic food bag at the checkout aisle beginning in 2014.  

On the other hand, the bill would also give a 5-cent rebate or credit for every reusable bag provided by a shopper. In addition, the bill would require stores to only offer recyclable carryout bags by 2015. 

The bill will soon be taken up in the Assembly, according to NJ.com

The 5-cent fee would go toward the Department of Environmental Protection’s Barnegat Bay Restoration Fund, which works to improve the water quality of polluted Barnegat Bay.

The bill was first introduced in 2008. 

Innumerable other states and towns have passed laws in recent years to curb the use of plastic bags, which are infamous for polluting waterways and beaches. 

So what do you think? Would you complain if you had to pay 5 cents for every plastic bag at the grocery store if you knew it was going to a good cause? Tell us in the comments below!

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