Greener Jc

Supporting a more sustainable future in Jersey City

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Jersey City “Take a Bag, Leave a Bag” Program

Jersey City “Take a Bag, Leave a Bag” Program

Plastic single-use bags have been banned in Jersey City, taking effect in June of 2019. In order for citizens to adjust to the ban, our 'Take a Bag, Leave a Bag' program allows shoppers to borrow a reusable bag if they get to the store and realize they forgot their bag. If they have an extra reusable bag, or if they want to return the one they previously took, they can easily place it back in the box. This program empowers local residents and other volunteers to help keep bins of reusable bags clean and functional and expand awareness of the bag ban.


Structure and Location 

Bins will be located inside stores where customers can access them before shopping or before going to the register. Each bin will be filled with reusable bags for people to borrow and bring back, donate to, or take from. 


How Can You Help?

Pledge to help keep your local bag bin clean and working properly for six months. Your job includes keeping the bin clean and only full of reusable bags, ensuring the box is upright and open, and making sure the bin is properly marked with a sign to ensure it is used correctly. You are recommended to check on your bin 1-2 times a week.


Don't want to pledge but want to donate?

If you have extra reusable bags laying around that you don't use, consider donating to a local bag bin. Having a pile of unused reusable bags sitting around is not good for the environment. Take these bags and distribute them to those who will use them to lower your carbon footprint and help out. 


Interested in Participating?

Thank you for your interest in participating in the "Take a Bag, Leave a Bag" Program! Please complete the questionnaire below, and a Greener JC team member will reach out to you to discuss next steps shortly.

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Please contact greenerjc@gmail.com with any questions.

Why Ban Plastic Bags?

We Use Too Many Across the world over two million single-use plastic carry out bags are distributed at stores every minute! In New Jersey, we use 4.5 billion plastic bags annually. We typically use plastic bags for less than 15 minutes.


What are Plastic Bags Made from? Plastic bags are made from fossil fuels: either ethane from natural gas or byproducts from petroleum oil, which are non-renewable resources.  These limited resources to make plastic are needed for other necessities, like in the medical industry. The New Plastics Economy is an initiative of international collaboration with the plastics industry, academia, environmental groups, and governments to eliminate unnecessary and problematic single-use plastic packaging through redesign and innovation. Their goals include 1) ensure all plastic packaging and bags are reusable, recyclable, or compostable; and 2) to increase recycling and recycled content of plastics.


Most Plastic Bags Are Not Recycled Recycling plastic is essential to manage its environmental impact. The average American household uses roughly 1,500 bags a year, but only recycles 2-5% of them.

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