51 weeks (and counting)

May 10, 2021 | Number of The Day
Deadline for NJ’s ban on single-use plastic bags, foam food containers

Starting May 4, 2022, New Jersey’s ban on single-use carryout bags and polystyrene-foam food containers will go into effect. That may sound like plenty of time to gear up for the big bag-out, but Secretary of State Tahesha Way and Shawn M. LaTourette, acting commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, are joining forces to help Garden State stores and food-service businesses get ready.

The law, P.L. 2020, c117, prohibits the use of single-use plastic carryout bags in all stores and food-service facilities. Single-use paper carryout bags are a no-go in grocery stores that occupy at least 2,500 square feet.

Businesses that decide to sell or provide reusable carryout bags must ensure they’re up to spec. According to the law, reusable bags:

  • are made of polypropylene fabric, PET nonwoven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp, or other washable fabric;
  • have stitched handles;
  • are designed and manufactured for multiple reuses.

The state department’s business-focused website Business.NJ.gov, as well as the DEP website have the latest information on the law. The Live Chat feature on the website for the New Jersey Business Action Center is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. NJBAC business experts can also be reached by phone at 1-800-Jersey-7 and are available during the same hours.