Depending on where you've been shopping lately, you've already seen stores eliminate plastic bags. Harvey Cedars banned plastic bags, so did Long Beach, so did Point Pleasant Beach...and it looked like the ban could reach the entire state.

Since I moved to Barnegat, I've found there are certain stores that still provide plastic bags, but I haven't been able to exactly pinpoint where the boundaries are. The Target on 72 - just paper bags. The Walmart on 72? No bags at all (last week I witnessed a grumpy old man rant that there were no bags, as though the cashier at Walmart had some hand in the decision). Shoprite on 72 doesn't have plastic, so I ended up buying a few bags that were of a material somewhere between single-use plastic and more heavy-duty (each bag was a nickel or dime, I don't remember).

My wife and I have been doing more Aldi shopping lately, so a supply of reusable bags is in one or both of our cars - the trick has been remembering which stores we need them for, and which ones still have bags.

We might not have to remember any longer, because there is a possibility that the entire state could place a ban on both plastic AND paper bags. There was already talk of banning all single-use plastics, including straws and styrofoam, but that bill could be amended to include a ban on paper bags.

I get that there will be an adjustment period, and there will plenty of old cranks yelling that Walmart needs to be more like Target (just go to Target then, jerk), but once everyone just gets used to keeping a few bags in the trunk, it'll just become a part of the routine.


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