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New Jersey Plastic Bag Fee In Limbo

July 03, 2018 - 5:10 pm
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TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- A plan to impose a few on plastic bags in New Jersey is in limbo.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the plan was in the initial state budget. But Gov. Phil Murphy used his line-item veto on it.

The 5-cent tax on single-use plastic and paper bags is designed to keep them out of the trash. But in an interview with WCBS 880’s Steve Scott on Tuesday, Murphy said the plan was not fully developed.

“It’s a complicated piece. It’s got some elements we like. It’s got some concerns. So we said: ‘You know what? Let’s take it out of the budget,’” Murphy said. “You can’t score anything in a budget unless you have agreed to do it. And then we have another 40 or so days to try to figure out what to, so to be determined.”

The measure would raise an estimated $23 million. It is earmarked for lead abatement.

But Jeff Tittel of the Sierra Club is skeptical.

“What will end up happening is the money, instead of going into environmental programs, will be used to plug holes in the budget one day,” he said.

Tittel prefers an outright ban on plastic bags.