In just over two months, New Jersey’s ban on plastic and paper bags will go into effect, after a bill to ban the bags deemed harmful to the environment was signed into law by Governor Murphy in November of 2020.
The ban, considered to be the strictest in the nation and going into effect on May 4th, bans all single-use bags – both plastic and paper – and limits what types of bags grocery stores are allowed to use. No other state in the nation bans the use of paper bags at grocery stores. It also bars restaurants from putting food in polystyrene containers, which includes Styrofoam. However, the hard versions of polystyrene containers will still be permitted.
So, instead of using plastic bags to take your groceries home, you will have to either bring your own bags, purchase a reusable bag at the counter, or carry out your purchase without a bag.
There are some minor exceptions to the law, including plastic bags used to package fresh produce or other loose items; wrap uncooked fish, meat, or poultry, and bags used for newspapers and to carry pharmacy medications.
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