Statement by Linda M. Doherty President of the New Jersey Food Council on the Absolute Veto by Governor Phil Murphy on the Single Use Bag Fee Legislation

Trenton- “We believe the proposed fee on single use bags was the most impactful solution to reducing both paper and plastic bags in our solid waste stream and a giant first step towards a plastic bag ban. We remain committed to working with the Administration, legislative leaders and stakeholders on a statewide policy and stand ready to rollup our sleeves and develop a viable bag program for NJ in the coming months.”




We are hopeful Gov. Phil Murphy will sign A-3267, a single-use bag initiative, into law. If approved, New Jersey will be recognized as enacting the most impactful disposable bag law in the country and serving as an environmental leader for other states to model.

The New Jersey Food Council supports this legislation because our industry recognizes the need for a balanced solution that benefits the environment while providing retailers with a uniform and standard policy, rather than forcing food stores to comply with a confusing patchwork of municipal ordinances throughout the state.

Moreover, it is critical that the fee applies to both paper and plastic bags. Paper bags have an equally negative environmental impact as their plastic counterparts and are also more expensive for stores and consumers. A fee on paper and plastic provides a balance of incentivizing behavior while still allowing for flexibility for retailers and customers to transition toward reusable bags.

New Jersey’s food retailers are focused on improving sustainability and enhancing solid waste management efforts. Our association is taking a progressive approach to the issue of disposable bag reduction initiatives.

We have learned from our multistate members who operate in jurisdictions with bag fees that a carefully crafted bag fee initiative can have the intended environmental benefit while having little negative impact on retailers or consumers.

That is why NJFC is advocating for this bill, which is modeled after a successful program in Montgomery County, Maryland. Under this program, several of our retail members with numerous stores in Montgomery County reported a 60 percent reduction in disposable bag usage in their stores.

Many NJFC members also operate in Suffolk County, New York, which implemented its own five-cent per disposable bag fee effective January 2018. In the first quarter, one supermarket saved 1 million bags compared to the count the previous year. That means 4 million paper and plastic bags for a single location will be cut out of the solid waste stream this year. Multiplying that by the hundreds of stores in that county, and the reduction of paper and plastic bags is astounding. Just imagine what the initiative will achieve for New Jersey!

Additionally, in 2017, the city of Chicago passed its own ordinance implementing a seven-cent fee on plastic and paper disposable bags, and the city funded a study to measure bag usage before and after enactment of the fee. The study showed a 42 percent drop in disposable bag use one month after enactment. Additionally, consumers increased their use of reusable bags by 20 percent.

We make note of these examples because some environmental groups contend that a fee does not change behavior. A fee, coupled with a strong consumer education campaign, will in fact change behavior, as is proof in Chicago, Suffolk County and Montgomery County. If this bill is enacted, NJFC member companies will develop and implement promotional and educational campaigns, explaining the new law to consumers and encouraging them to bring their own bags.

We welcome the opportunity to partner with the administration and state environmental officials, as well as legislators, mayors, civic organizations and consumer groups, to educate consumers and incentivize the use of reusable bags, and to play a critical role in reducing plastic and paper bags, and protecting our environment and waterways.

Linda Doherty is CEO and president of the New Jersey Food Council, a trade association that represents 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies in New Jersey.

Click here to see today’s Op Ed on ROI-NJ by NJFC President Linda Doherty calling for Governor Murphy to sign the Disposable Fee bill sitting on his desk.


“The New Jersey Food Council applauds the New Jersey Legislature for passing a comprehensive, statewide solution to reduce single-use plastic and paper shopping bags in the Garden State.  We are grateful to the sponsors, Senator Teresa Ruiz and Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle, for their foresight and leadership on this sustainability issue.  They have created a national model that will provide real environmental benefits without unfairly burdening consumers or businesses.  Retailers and customers will also have the guidance of a clear, single statewide policy to help them reduce their usage of and reliance on plastic and paper bags.”

“As vice chair of the NJ Clean Communities Council, we are committed and intimately understand the importance of keeping our environment clean through anti-litter campaigns in all of New Jersey’s neighborhoods.  The members of the New Jersey Food Council respectfully request Governor Murphy take immediate action to sign this legislation so we can begin partnering with local, civic and environmental communities to educate consumers and implement this program.”



An Event You Can’t Afford to Miss: NJFC 2018 Loss Prevention Conference and Exhibition

The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), in partnership with the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association (NJRMA), will host the 2018 Loss Prevention Conference and Exhibition at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township on Thursday, November 1.

Linda Doherty, President & CEO of NJFC, explains the event tackles all aspects of loss prevention, ensuring security professionals understand all the latest trends in asset protection to preserve and protect company resources. In addition, awards will be presented to individuals and law enforcement officials committed to the field of loss prevention.

Doherty said, “With the overwhelming amount of dark threats targeting the retail community, loss prevention professionals will find this year’s conference to be insightful and full of new information that will greatly benefit their businesses.”

The event offers a number of compelling presentations, including an eye opening account of the significant threats of organized retail crime, emerging technologies, asset protection, active shooter scenarios, and the impact of the Regional Automated Property Information Database (RAPID) on the retail community.

Scott Dougherty, Vice President of Loss Prevention for Saker ShopRites, Inc. will accept the “NJFC Loss Prevention Professional Award.” David Wallace, LP Analyst for Staples, Inc. will accept the “NJRMA Loss Prevention Professional Award”.  “Retail Law Enforcement Achievement Awards” will be given to FBI Special Agent Csapo and Somerset County Detective Jeff VanderGoot.


Click here for SPONSORSHIP Registration $1,000

Click here for EXHIBITOR Registration $500

Click here for MEMBER Registration $175

Click here for NON-MEMBER Registration $200


Click here for additional Sponsorship and Exhibitor information.

NJFC Annual Golf Outing

Monday, July 30, 2018

Choice of 8:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. Shotgun starts

Suburban Golf Club, Union, NJ

Join Food Industry Decision Makers, Movers & Shakers in this Great Networking Opportunity!

All registrations include Continental Breakfast, 18 Holes of Spectacular Golf, Goody Bag, BBQ Luncheon, Cocktails and Dinner Buffet Reception, Great Prizes and Raffle Drawings!

Thank you to our event sponsors Altria Client Services, Bimbo Bakeries USA, and Energy Procurement Partners, Inc.


** Attention NJFC Sponsors: Unfortunately, you cannot use the online registration tool.  Please email your golfer’s names and Tee Sign wording/or logo to: **

Sponsor Entitlements:

  • Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze Sponsors: One Foursome and Tee Sign
  • Brass Sponsors: Two Registrations


Registration Options:

Single Golfer – Member Rate ($400)

Single Golfer – Non-Member Rate ($425)

Foursome with Tee Sign – Member Rate ($1700)

Foursome with Tee Sign – Non-Member Rate ($1750)

Click here to download the form if you chose not to register online.


Do you want to promote your company at our Golf Outing?
Click here to donate a goody bag item, a door prize, or refreshments.


Check out the photos from last year!