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Legislation Banning Single-Use Paper and Plastic Bags in New Jersey

Legislation Banning Single-Use Paper and Plastic Bags in New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy today signed S864, which prohibits the use of single-use plastic and paper bags in all stores and food service businesses statewide. This bill is a significant step to reduce harm and pollution that these products cause to our environment.

Starting May 2022, both plastic and paper single-use bags, as well as disposable food containers and cups made out of polystyrene foam, will be banned. Paper bags require resources and energy to produce, contributing to pollution. Moving forward, the focus throughout the state will be on using reusable bags. The following products will be exempt for an additional two years after May 2022:  

  • Disposable, long-handled polystyrene foam soda spoons when required and used for thick drinks;
  • Portion cups of two ounces or less, if used for hot foods or foods requiring lids;
  •  Meat and fish trays for raw or butchered meat, including poultry, or fish that is sold from a refrigerator or similar retail appliance;
  • Any food product pre-packaged by the manufacturer with a polystyrene foam food service product; and
  • Any other polystyrene foam food service product as determined necessary by Department of Environmental Protection.

Under the new law, food service businesses will be allowed to provide single-use plastic straws only upon request starting November 2021.

Read more about at www.nj.gov