New Jersey law gives stores and the public 18 months to prepare.The state’s single-use plastic bag ban finally took effect on May 4.
Although it took years to pass the New Jersey legislature and be signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy, a law banning single-use plastic tote bags, as well as supermarket paper bags, finally took effect Wednesday as the state tries to establish customers using their own The ‘new norm’ of reusable bags to reduce waste.
Here’s what you need to know about the ban, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and laws passed in 2020:
Retailers, grocery stores and food service businesses cannot offer or sell single-use plastic tote bags and Styrofoam food service products.It also means shoppers will no longer be able to buy foam plates, cups or cutlery.
While the law doesn’t give a single-use technical definition, it refers to “a tote bag made of plastic, not a reusable tote bag” — in other words, the thin bags we’re all used to using since 1980 Every store since the 1990s.New Jersey has a similar non-definition of paper bags, kind of like “we know it as soon as we see it.”
Stores can sell reusable totes, which are defined as being made from thicker “polypropylene or PET plastic” or fabric, nylon, cloth, linen, or other machine-washable fabrics.They usually have stitched handles and are designed for repeated use.(Philadelphia’s plastic tote bag ban states that reusable bags are those thicker than 2.25 million.)
Businesses will receive an initial warning.There is a $1,000 fine for the second violation and $5,000 for each subsequent violation.The money will go toward the Clean Neighborhoods Program Fund, which pays for trash collection programs, graffiti removals, environmental assistance to municipalities, highway adoption programs and anti-waste education.
Grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet, such as Wegmans and ShopRite, cannot offer single-use plastic or paper bags at the checkout, curbside or home delivery, but they can sell reusable bags.Items normally sold in bulk such as produce, greeting cards and flowers are exempt.Foam containers for slicing raw and cooked meat are also exempt, including poultry and fish trays.Items that have been pre-foamed, such as instant noodles, are allowed.
Restaurants, cafes, food trucks, etc. are not allowed to serve or deliver food in single-use plastic bags or in foam containers, and no plastic straws unless requested.They can use disposable paper bags.Except for paper straws.
Convenience stores such as Wawa and 7-11 cannot use single-use plastic bags, but can provide paper bags.
Retail stores like Target and Macy’s cannot offer single-use plastic bags, but they can offer paper bags.
Post time: May-09-2022