Continuing its efforts to ban single-use plastics and other environmentally-harmful products, New Jersey’s latest measures on plastic come into effect on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022. New Jersey law will prohibit all stores from selling to or providing customers with single-use plastic carryout bags and instead may provide or sell only reusable carryout bags. Also going into effect on the same day is a ban on any polystyrene foam foodservice products.
Single-Use Plastic Carryout Bags
NJ.gov lists out the new regulations regarding the bans.
According to the website, a “reusable carryout bag” must be:
- Made of polypropylene fabric, PET non-woven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp product, or other washable fabric; and
- Have stitched handles; and
- Be designed and manufactured for multiple reuses
The ban prohibits foodservice businesses from selling/offering for sale any polystyrene foam foodservice products. A “polystyrene foam foodservice product” is defined by statute as “a product made, in whole or in part, of polystyrene foam that is used for selling or providing a food or beverage, and includes but is not limited to a food container, plate, hot or cold beverage cup, meat or vegetable tray, cutlery, or egg carton.”
The following products are exempt until May 4, 2024, unless otherwise extended by the DEP:
- 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 foodservice product
- Any other polystyrene foam foodservice product as determined necessary by the DEP
Penalties for non-compliance and enforcement:
NJ.gov states that a person or entity that violates the law will be warned for a first offense, may be fined up to $1,000 per day for the second offense, and may be fined up to $5,000 per day for the third and subsequent violations. Violations of a continuing nature constitute an additional, separate, and distinct offense for each day that is deemed a violation. The DEP, municipalities, and any entity certified pursuant to the “County Environmental Health Act” are authorized to enforce the law.
Hoboken + Jersey City shops that sell reusable bags:
- Washington General Store
- The Co.
- Cheap Maggies
- Kanibal & Co.
- Love Locked
- The Lucky Honey Bee