SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The holiday shopping season is in full swing and South Orange shoppers are encouraged to practice for the official start of the reusable bag law which begins January 1, 2020. The South Orange Board of Trustees passed ordinance #2019-15 in July, eliminating single use plastic carry-out bags and putting a 5¢ fee on paper carry-out bags; the six-month lead time was set to leave time for businesses and shoppers to prepare.

“Local shopping is sustainable shopping, and we want our shoppers to bring their own reusable bags for holiday shopping and the rest of the year too,” said Village President Sheena Collum. “We think this new ordinance will have a positive impact and start our residents and shoppers thinking about other ways they can work together with local businesses to become more sustainable.” South Orange Village Center Alliance Executive Director Julie Doran added “the Village will be giving away free promotional reusable bags during the holiday shopping season through a number of venues. Be sure to stop in at the GSC South Orange Holiday Shop at 14 South Orange Avenue to get one. You might also meet the Village President handing them out at the train station.”

The new law goes into effect on January 1, so shoppers and retailers have time to adjust. Plastic carry-out bags will be eliminated and a 5¢ fee will be placed on paper carry-out bags provided by the retailer. Shoppers are encouraged to use whatever type of reusable carry-out bags they wish to bring. For FAQs, retail resources, and specific information on this initiative go to the South Orange Village website at http://www.southorange.org/bags. Village Trustee Walter Clarke will also hold a question and answer session at 7 p.m. on December 16 in the Village Offices at 76 South Orange Avenue, third floor.