Prohibits provision or sale of single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products
SINGLE USE PLASTIC
Prohibits provision or sale of single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products;
Limits provision of single-use plastic straws and single-use paper carryout bags;
Appropriates moneys from Clean Communities Program Fund for public education.
BAN OF PLASTIC BAGS
Bans plastic bags, like those found at grocery, retail, restaurants, etc. regardless of thickness.
Paper bag ban
Bans paper bags at supermarkets over 2,500 square feet in an effort to get shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. Grocery stores over 2,500 square feet that ONLY handle prepackaged food that does not require time or temperature controls for food safety are exempt from the ban on paper bags (e.g., Bed Bath & Beyond).
Bans polystyrene foam food service products, commonly known as Styrofoam, that are used for selling or providing a food or beverage, and includes, but not limited to, a food container, plate, hot or cold beverage cup, meat or vegetable tray, cutlery, or egg carton. (e.g., made to order sushi, deli sandwich trays)
Limiting Plastic Straws
Sales of pre-packaged plastic straws and beverages with straws are allowed (e.g., juice boxes).
Defines a reusable bag is one that is made of polypropylene, PET nonwoven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp product, or other machine washable fabric; has stitched handles; and is designed and manufactured for multiple reuse.
New Jersey, we have a plastic problem!
Single-use plastics take an enormous amount of water, energy, and chemicals to produce, yet are only used for mere minutes and persist in our environment for more than a millennium.
- Over 90% of single-use plastics are NOT or CANNOT be recycled. The United States is the largest generator of plastic waste in the world.
- Plastics are composed of a variety of toxic chemicals including styrene and bisphenol A (BPA) that are released when they break down. Plastics are now in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.
UNLESS we do something about it, by 2050, there will be equal parts fish to plastic by weight in our oceans.
When do the bans begin?
- Starting May 2022, the ban on plastic and papers bags takes effect.
- Starting May 2022, the ban on foam food products and containers such as clamshell takeout boxes takes effect.
- Starting November 2021, restaurants would be permitted to provide a plastic straw to a customer only upon request.
We are the solution to pollution!
New Jersey is now home to the strongest Plastic Pollution Reduction Law in the United States!
- Single-use plastic bags from all grocery stores and retail outlets;
- Styrofoam food containers and other food ware;
As of November 2021:
Plastic straws at restaurants are available only upon request. New Jersey’s law is groundbreaking because it also bans paper bags from grocery stores over 2500 square feet starting May 2022. New Jersey is actively working to reduce our carbon footprint and energy use to meet climate change goals and paper bags require more energy and water to produce than a single use plastic bag.
What’s the alternative to plastic?
Reusables! Bags, Cups, Straws, Containers! Information on the law such as alternatives to Styrofoam products continues to evolve. We will update this website as more information is released.
Are reusable containers safe in the pandemic?
Yes, Reusables are safe to use during the COVID 19 pandemic.
The virus primarily spreads from inhaling aerosolized droplets, rather than through contact with surfaces and the CDC considers the risk of contracting the coronavirus from food shopping bags to be low. Bring your own reusable bags and wash or sanitize them frequently.
See CDC guidance on safe shopping click here