MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Shoppers will now have to pay 5 cents fee per paper bag they receive from stores in town.
The fee went into effect today as part of a local law that bans the use of plastic bags for carry out purposes at local shops.
Plastic bags were banned in July as part of the law that was designed to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags, which local environmentalists, activists, and town officials say are better for people and the environment.
"Single use bags end up in our landfills and waterways," said Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca after the law was passed in the spring. "We want to change people's behavior and get everybody off of these single-use bags."
Banning plastic bags and restricting the use of paper bags is being considered in municipalities throughout New Jersey as part of an effort to be more environmentally-conscious.
According to local officials, environmentalists and activists in Maplewood and neighboring South Orange, people and the environment will benefit in the long-run by using reusable bags because the impact that plastic has on people's health and the environment is unknown.