It’s Official: Plastic is checking out of NJ on May 4th
By now, you’ve seen it in the news. Online. All over. New Jersey has finally made it official. The plastic ban is here. Starting May 4th, to help the environment and reduce litter, all single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products will no longer be allowed. This ban will impact all restaurants, retailers and grocery stores.
So, what are the options for you and your customers? Yes, single-use paper carryout bags are still allowed. They can be provided free with purchase or sold. However, grocery stores equal to or larger than 2,500 square feet may not provide paper and only provide or sell reusable carryout bags. These are bags designed for at least 125 reuses. As far as materials go, reusable bags must have stitched handles and be made of either polypropylene fabric, PET nonwoven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp product, or other washable fabrics.
While this new ban’s mission is to remove the use of plastic, there will still be exceptions to the law. The first is that you may still use plastic bags for loose items like produce, greeting cards, flowers, etc. Plastic will also be acceptable when it comes to wrapping raw meats (beef, poultry and fish). And you can still sell items pre-packed in polystyrene foam containers from manufacturers.
To help with the zillion questions you might have as a merchant, Business.NJ.gov has already set up an informative area here to provide answers to help you remain compliant with the ban. You can also find a list of vendors that produce environmentally sound reusable bag alternatives.
With your help, New Jersey can still remain a healthy garden state by making sure reusable is in and plastic is out.