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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Has the plastic bag ban made life harder?

Photo Credit: Daniella Albuquerque
The Fresh Grocer in Colonia, Nj, offers both red and green baskets, Though, customers tend to steal them.

In May 2022, NJ decided to listen to its residents, and passed a law banning plastic and paper bags.

This milestone was cheered among many, since environmental groups have been pushing for this change. Due to the fact that the US alone is responsible for over 327 billion bags ending up in several oceans.

The Truth of This Change

Though the plastic bag ban is a smart idea, bags are still endangering the environment. Companies, grocery stores, and such, have created their own bags for customers to purchase. It was the right move to make more money, but those bags are thicker than the whimsy plastic ones. So, if it ends up in the ocean and a sea creature begins to chew on it, they will have a lesser chance of survival compared to the plastic bag.

Though every company in NJ should abide to this law, may stores do not. In Central Jersey–not too sure about the rest– most Chinese restaurants give one’s order in either a plastic or paper bag. At Ulta, Sephora, and Pacsun, they still give out such bags. None of those retail stores have tried to help the economy in a way. To them, they only care about the face of their brand and how much money they are able to profit. In Grocery Stores like the Fresh Grocer and Shoprite, they continue to still have plastic bags. Yes, they took it on themselves to create bags with either felt or a thicker plastic material, they still use plastic bags. It may not be in the way you are thinking, but they still carry produce bags. Those are the bags that people put their vegetables in when they are selecting what they will like.

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So how can companies and stores be against plastic bags use when it comes to putting away groceries, but not when selecting vegetables? It makes no sense, they are being hypocritical to the cause. Because just like those single use bags, these produce bags are just like them. Use once and then throw away.

Stealing is higher, especially in Fresh Grocer

It is more common in grocery stores or retail stores like Target, to provide one with either a cart or a basket. With those being there, no one would have thought for customers to shop with either their personal bag or the use of a baby carriage–but it does happen. With so, it is easier for a customer to leave a few groceries in their bag/not scan them at self-checkout. By doing so, it makes it harder for the cashiers to prevent thievery.

Joseph Fleming has been working in the Customer Service Industry for six years at the Fresh Grocer in Colonia, NJ. By him working both positions–cashier and front desk–he has some experience with customer thievery.  He went into detail about how one would notice it upfront or even at night, when counting everything up. Fleming said, “Inventory would be off… it would not match up on certain products. You can kinda tell when someone is not being fully honest.”

To help prevent customers from stealing Fleming’s bosses have put up signs around the stores that to inform customers, they do not permit items in bags while shopping. “We try to offer baskets to the customers to put stuff in there. And then all of our baskets get stolen since people do not bring bags because of the bag ban,” Fleming added.

Maria Janke, who is also a manager at Fresh Grocer said, “I think it has [that the new procedures at the store has helped with thievery] there have been a few times even myself I have caught things. “With the addition of facial recognition cameras, a Loss Prevention guy was hired a few months ago. His sole reason is to keep an eye on certain things and to make sure no suspicious activity is going on.

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About the Contributor
Daniella Albuquerque
Daniella Albuquerque, Editor-in-chief
Daniella Albuquerque is a 16 year old in her Sophomore year at Colonia High school. She is involved in tennis, Spring Track, Interact Club, Book Club, and Student Council. She has never been athletic but has joined a few sports over the last couple of years, she recently found her love for tennis. Albuquerque is a bubbly person who loves to speak and get to know people whenever and wherever. If you asked her what her favorite hobby would have to be, she would answer with no hesitation: reading. When she isn´t studying or playing tennis, you can find her holed up in her room reading books. Her favorite genre has to be romance with a mix of fantasy. Albuquerque would like to study abroad and major in writing. Her dream is either to work for an important editing company or become a best selling author. With this being her second year with the Declaration of Independence, she hopes she does it well and is informative with what she writes.    

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