New Jersey’s Plastic Bag Ban To Take Effect On May 4th

For those who live out of state, don’t be surprised this weekend when you come to a New Jersey supermarket and find no plastic bags.

New Jersey's Plastic Bag Ban To Take Effect On May 4th

New Jersey’s Plastic Bag Ban To Take Effect On May 4th

Back in November 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed S864, which prohibits the use of single-use plastic and paper bags in all stores and foodservice businesses statewide. 

Murphy signed the bill saying that New Jersey is “addressing the problem of plastic pollution head-on with solutions that will help mitigate climate change and strengthen our environment for future generations.”  

The bill allowed for an 18-month grace period which ends on May 4th.

Both plastic and paper single-use bags, as well as disposable food containers and cups made out of polystyrene foam, will be banned.

There are some exemptions such as disposable, long-handled polystyrene foam soda spoons, portion cups of two ounces or less if used for hot foods, and meat and fish trays for raw or butchered meat.

Those exemptions do expire in 2024.

This past November you may have seen some of the first effects of the law. It was then when food service businesses were only able to provide single-use plastic straws when a customer when requested one.

Plastic bags will still be available for certain things in supermarkets such as fruits, raw meat, and lunch meat cuttings.

Businesses will be fined if they do not abide by these new rules. The first infraction is just a warning but from there a second offense goes up to $1,000 per day and a third offense is up to $5,000 per day.

New Jersey joins eight other states that have a ban on single-use plastic bags. Those states include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.

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