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New Jersey Poll: Mixed Views on Plastic Bag Ban

Most New Jerseyans initially support a single-use plastic bag ban, but many back away from that support when considering the impact on consumer shopping habits, according to a Monmouth University Poll conducted in partnership with the Urban Coast Institute (UCI). The vast majority of Garden State residents say that ocean pollution caused by plastics is a serious problem, but few have heard much about the issue of microplastics in the environment.

Nearly 2-in-3 New Jerseyans (65%) claim to support a ban on single use plastic bags, while 29% are opposed. Just over half (52%) also say they support a ban on plastic straws, with 44% of state residents opposing this. However, support for a plastic bag ban appears to be less absolute when residents are presented with specific ways this could be handled. When given a number of options, just 31% want a complete ban on single use plastic bags, while 27% say that customers should pay a small fee if they want a plastic bag when shopping. Another 39% of state residents feel that stores should continue to have the option to give away plastic bags for free. Read the full results of the poll.

The poll will be the subject of further discussion at Marine Plastics: Law, Science and Action, co-hosted by the Polling Institute and UCI at the university’s Lauren K. Woods Theatre on Oct. 2. The event is free and open to the public.