SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Business owners will now have a say in how a proposed local law for regulating plastic and paper bags is developed and executed in retail stores throughout town.

The South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) and the South Orange Environmental Commission have created a task force to revamp a local law, which proposes to ban plastic bags, charge for paper bags, and encourages patrons to shop with reuseable bags at shops in South Orange.

The task force will be made up of local business owners, SOVCA representatives, and members of the environmental commission. The task force will review exemptions, enforcement and bag fees in the proposed law. Its members will also be coming up with ways to educate residents and business owners on the proposed law.

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"We are excited to partner with the environmental commission to build a comprehensive ordinance that everyone - our business owners, residents and Village government - can take pride in,” explained Steven Pedigo, chairman of SOVCA. “This ordinance is a step in the right direction for the environment, and we look forward to collectively working through the implementation challenges to ensure its success.”

South Orange Environmental Commission Chairman Bill Haskins said, "The environmental commission looks forward to collaborating with SOVCA on the implementation of a reusable bag ordinance. South Orange shoppers know that local shopping helps our economy and builds community."

"It can get even better if we take another step in reducing our waste stream by encouraging the use of reusable bags," Haskins said.

The South Orange Board of Trustees anticipate that they will vote on the proposed ordinance later this year.