New Jersey retailers might soon charge for shopping bags

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (WPVI) -- Paper and plastic shopping bags are typically offered free to customers as of now, but soon New Jersey retailers could be collecting five cents per bag.

While New Jersey waits for Governor Phil Murphy to decide if the fee on plastic or paper bags will become law, shoppers are chiming in on the bill that's already passed in the state legislature.

"I think it's a great idea because it will force people to say it's time to use something other than plastic," said one shopper.

One cent of the fee will go to the store. The other 4 cents are earmarked from environmental programs. This could net the state as much as $23 million.

Some taxpayers remain skeptical that it could just become another slush fund.

"Why do we have to take on the responsibility of paying five cents a bag. I don't understand that?" said Loretta McCormick of Williamstown.

If it is signed into law, the fee will go into effect October 1.

The elderly and those on government assistance would be exempt from the fee.

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