Wrap It Up
New Jersey's Plastic Bag Ban
By Ashley Bradish
Hello, everyone! This is our second to last edition of Life, "Ash"ually.
But before Life, "Ash"ually comes to a close, I wanted to share some details with you on the upcoming plastic bag ban across New Jersey.
Here’s what you should know
Starting May 4, 2022, all retail stores will be prohibited from giving or selling plastic bags. Grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet won’t even be allowed to use single-use paper bags. These large grocery stores can only give and sell reusable bags that are not made with any plastic.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes! New Jersey is making exceptions for:
a bag used solely to wrap uncooked meat and fish
a bag solely used to package loose items such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, baked goods, candy, greeting cards, flowers, or small hardware items.
a bag solely used to contain live animals (fish or insects) sold in pet stores
a bag solely used to contain food that is sliced or prepared to order, including soup and hot foods
a laundry, dry cleaning, or garment bag
a bag for newspapers
a bag provided by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs.
Are straws banned too?
No! There is no statewide ban on single-use plastic straws.
Foam Poly-What? Foam Polystyrene!
Polystyrene is a plastic that is used to make food containers. It can be hard or Styrofoam-like. Containers that have foam polystyrene will also be banned as of May 4, 2022. The hard polystyrene will still be allowed.
Is there anything else I should know?
New Jersey is giving businesses time to prepare for other plastic cutbacks. Starting in May 2024, the following items will also be banned:
long soda spoons used for milkshake-type drinks
2 oz portion cups for hot foods and foods that need lids
trays for raw meat or fish
prepackaged food served in foam polystyrene packaging
The best way to prepare for this bag ban is to plan ahead. Stock up on reusable bags before prices skyrocket. And have extra reusable bags in your house and your car in case you forget to bring one shopping.
Thank you for reading! I'll see you next time for one more edition of Life, "Ash"ually.
Kausch, K. (2022, March 1). N.J.'s strictest in the nation ban on single-use bags takes effect soon. what you need to know. NJ.com True Jersey. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.nj.com/business/2022/03/what-you-need-to-know-before-njs-bag-ban-strictest-in-the-nation-takes-effect.html