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New Jersey Makes a Stand on Plastic Pollution


We’ve heard it time and again, plastic is bad. And yes, it is! Many of the amenities that we enjoy and tools that we use everyday rely on plastic, and though it has become integral to our society, plastic still continues to pose issues in terms of pollution, waste, and climate change. Single-use plastic products are some of the easiest to use and it is some of the cheapest and most easily sourced materials in the world. Plastic shows up everywhere in our lives, whether it be part of our personal care products, food packaging, tools, or toys and games. Plastic water and soda bottles are durable, light, and pose no danger of broken glass. Plastic grocery store bags are impressively sturdy, weightless, and can be compressed down to take up barely any room when they aren’t in use. The issue arises, however, when we are done using these items; they are technically so easy to dispose of, but much of the time littering and irresponsible disposal takes place, whether on purpose or by accident. Littered plastic waste will inevitably seek the ocean. Out-of-sight and out-of-mind, right? Wrong. Plastic will never disappear and will just continue to accumulate, causing a multitude of issues on Earth. Plastic pollution1 contributes to some of the biggest challenges that face our environment today including adverse effects on human health, the vitality of marine ecosystems, and global climate change.

Second Chance Toys’ home State of New Jersey is taking an incredible stand against plastic pollution and the hold that single-use convenience has on consumers by banning plastic bags from grocery and convenience stores as well as restaurants. Starting on May 4 the state enacted the requirements and statutes for the majority of stores to cease distribution of disposable plastic bags. To be specific, this includes grocery stores, convenience stores, and even restaurants, and bottle shops (anywhere that you might really need a plastic bag). Same goes for single-use food containers made of styrofoam. Not to mention, this isn’t the first stand that the State of New Jersey has taken in the steps against climate change. For over 6 months plastic straws have been tougher to get your hands on! If you’d like a straw for your drink at the local coffee shop or convenience store, you’ll need to ask. 

Over the past month since the ban began, lots of New Jerseyans have been understandably annoyed, as would happen with any change in routine. But as a resilient and tough, yet caring and eco-conscious group, we’re becoming perfectly accustomed to the new ban and carrying our reusable bags with pride! Much to our delight, reusable and paper straws, as well as a huge variety of reusable bags are becoming more and more popular and accessible, thus changing the NJ lifestyle for the benefit of our state’s ecological health and biodiversity. We are so proud of our home state and commend the New Jersey legislature on this momentous shift towards a more sustainable state! 



1To learn more about the threat of plastic pollution on Earth, we recommend this fact sheet “Marine Plastic Pollution” from the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).