New Jersey is taking notes from California to discourage the use of single use shopping bags. While California banned plastic shopping bags completely, New Jersey is taking baby steps. You could be paying for each single use shopping bag you use during your next Target run or grocery shopping trip.

New Jersey may soon be seeing a 5 cent fee for every plastic or paper bag that you use. Lawmakers approved the bill that would impose this new fee Thursday night and now it awaits Governor Murphy's approval. The idea behind this bill is to encourage people to use reusable bags.

The bill passed 41-32 in the Assembly and 23-16 in the Senate. Dan Bryan, a spokesman for the Governor, said, "Governor Murphy will carefully consider any legislation that aims to protect the environment in New Jersey." According to, the fee could raise $23.4 million annually. The money is supposed to be allocated to the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

Jeff Tittel, the leader of the New Jersey Sierra Club, has critiqued the bill saying that it is not to help the environment. He told, "The money is supposed to go to the lead abatement fund and instead it is going to go into the general fund. This is not about plastic bags or lead, it is a scam to grab money for the budget."

If Governor Murphy signs the bill, New Jersey will be the first state to charge a fee for single use bags


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