Canadian Plastics

Single-use plastic bags banned in New Jersey

The law bans businesses from handing out single-use plastic bags, polystyrene food containers, plastic straws, and paper bags in that U.S. state.

November 5, 2020   Canadian Plastics

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Nov. 4 signed a new law banning businesses from handing out single-use plastic bags, polystyrene (PS) food containers, plastic straws, and paper bags in that U.S. state.

The measure was passed by state lawmakers in September.

“Plastic bags are one of the most problematic forms of garbage, leading to millions of discarded bags that stream annually into our landfills, rivers, and oceans,” Murphy said in statement. “With today’s historic bill signing, we are addressing the problem of plastic pollution head-on with solutions that will help mitigate climate change and strengthen our environment for future generations.”

The new regulations prohibit food service businesses from giving customers single-use plastic bags and PS food containers. The bans apply to a variety of businesses, including restaurants, convenience stores, food trucks, movie theaters and grocery stores that are 2,500 square feet or larger.

Grocery stores would be prohibited from giving paper bags to customers.

The new rules for plastic and paper bags, and polystyrene containers, become effective in May 2022. There are exemptions for some disposable items, including bags wrapping raw meat, PS butcher trays, bags used for loose items like produce, bags that hold fish and insects from pet stores, dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, and bags carrying prescription drugs.

The new law also restricts food-service businesses from handing out plastic straws, unless specifically requested by a customer, beginning in November 2021.

For business that break these rules, the law allows for a warning for the first violation, a US$1,000 fine for the second violation and US$5,000 fines for the third violation and every violation after that.


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