Hoboken to dispense free reusable bags ahead of plastic bag ban

Little City Books helps promote reusable bag use, both with the City of Hoboken reusable bags and Little City Books’s own customized reusable bags.
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Little City Books helps promote reusable bag use, both with the City of Hoboken reusable bags and Little City Books’s own customized reusable bags.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the City of Hoboken Green Team will give away free reusable bags this week ahead of the citywide ban on plastic bags that will begin in January.

The reusable bag giveaways are aimed to encourage local residents to help Hoboken’s local environment by bringing reusable bags for all shopping trips, including grocery shopping and daily use.

Bhalla, the city council, and the Hoboken Green Team, led by Councilman Jim Doyle, initiated the single-use carry-out plastic bag ban set to take effect on Jan. 22.

On this date, retail and food establishments will no longer be permitted to provide single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. Instead, retail and food establishments will make paper bags available for a fee of 10 to 25 cents per bag while encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags.

The plastic bag ban was adopted to help reduce Hoboken’s production of plastic bag waste and impact on the local environment and Hudson River.

On average, an individual uses 500 single-use plastic bags each year. Hoboken and Jersey City are the first two municipalities in Hudson County to introduce a plastic bag ban, and two of only 12 municipalities in New Jersey.

The first phase of the bag giveaway is aimed at providing reusable bags for the senior population; additional reusable bag giveaways will be announced in January, which will include partnerships with Hoboken schools.

Bags can be picked up on Dec.19 at noon at Fox Hill Gardens Christmas luncheon, 311 13th St. or 5 p.m. at Bingo Night at the Multi-Service Center, 124 Grand St.
They can also be picked up on Dec. 20 at noon at the Adams Gardens Christmas luncheon, 220 Adams St. or on Dec. 21 at noon at the  Monroe Gardens Christmas luncheon, 221 Jackson St.

According to a press release from the city, the city will increase community education efforts as the bag ban goes into effect and is forming a working group of retailers and Green Team members to help. Those interested in joining the working group should email dcalamoneri@hobokennj.gov.

To learn more about the plastic bag ban go to www.hobokennj.gov/plasticbags and to learn more about the Hoboken Green Team go to www.hobokennj.gov/greenteam.