Murphy signs ban on single-use plastic and paper bags in New Jersey – NBC New York


What there is to know

  • It’s official – single-use plastic and paper bags in all New Jersey stores and catering businesses are banned, this after Gov. Phil Murphy enacted the bill.
  • From May 2022, single-use plastic and paper bags, as well as disposable food containers and styrofoam cups, will be banned.
  • In addition, emphasis will be placed statewide on the use of reusable bags.

It’s official – single-use plastic and paper bags in all New Jersey stores and catering businesses are banned, this after Gov. Phil Murphy enacted the bill.

The new measure, the country’s toughest bag ban, according to Murphy’s office, is an important step in reducing damage and pollution to the environment.

“Plastic bags are one of the most problematic forms of waste, resulting in millions of discarded bags that end up in our landfills, rivers and oceans each year,” Murphy said in a statement. “With the historic signing of today’s bill, we are tackling the problem of plastic pollution head-on with solutions that will help mitigate climate change and strengthen our environment for future generations.”

From May 2022, single-use plastic and paper bags, as well as disposable food containers and styrofoam cups, will be banned. In addition, emphasis will be placed statewide on the use of reusable bags.

The following products will be exempt for an additional two years after May 2022:

  • Long-handled polystyrene foam disposable soda spoons when needed and used for thick drinks;
  • Serving cups of two ounces or less, if used for hot foods or foods requiring lids;
  • Meat and fish trays for raw or cut meat, including poultry, or fish which is sold from a refrigerator or similar retail appliance;
  • Any food product prepackaged by the manufacturer with a styrofoam food service product; and
  • Any other polystyrene foam food service product as determined necessary by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Under the new law, companies in the restaurant business will be allowed to supply single-use plastic straws only on request from November 2021.

“From our cities to our shores, single-use plastic bags needlessly litter New Jersey’s most precious spaces and pollute our ecosystems,” said Catherine R. McCabe, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Jersey, in a statement. “By banning single-use plastic bags, Governor Murphy and our legislature continue to make New Jersey a national leader in environmental protection and the DEP stands ready to implement these new measures and educate the public.”


Ethel J. Montes

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