New Jersey Ban On Plastic Bags To Take Effect Soon; Here’s What You Need To Know

As earlier reported, starting May 4, 2022, grocery stores, food service businesses and other retail stores in New Jersey are prohibited from providing or selling customers with single-use plastic carryout bags. The ban is said to be the strongest in the country as it will also prohibit major grocery stores from providing or selling even paper bags. Grocery stores will only be permitted to provide or sell reusable carry out bags.

The bill was already signed into law in 2020 but gave stores an 18 month grace window to prepare. Even though grocery stores will be prohibited from providing paper bags, other retail stores still will be allowed to. For reference, New York’s bag ban still permits all stores to provide paper bags.

For New Jersey shoppers though, be prepared to bring your own bags (reusable or single-use is just fine), be prepared to buy a reusable one at the register, or carry out your purchase without a bag. Stores are not permitted to force you to buy their bags. It’s a little unclear how major retailers are planning to handle shop from home orders once the ban goes into effect. The ban will not ban plastic bags for the following:

  • A bag used solely to contain or wrap uncooked meat, fish, or poultry.
  • A bag used solely to package loose items such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, grains, baked goods, candy, greeting cards, flowers, bulk food, or small hardware items.
  • A bag used solely to contain live animals, such as fish or insects sold in a pet store.
  • A bag used solely to contain food sliced or prepared to order, including soup or hot food.
  • A laundry, dry cleaning, or garment bag.
  • A bag provided by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs.
  • A bag for newspapers.
  • Any similar bag, as determined by the DEP pursuant to rule, regulation, or guidance.
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  1. If anyone wants to stock up on bags just go take a walk along the train tracks. There are several thousand stuck to fences, on the ground, and in the river.

  2. Who is responsible for enforcement? Is it the township? Can we lobby the township to ignore this tremendous inconvenience on the members of our community?

  3. What are they doing in lakewood,!?!!, are the Jewish groceries going to follow this horrible law?!?!?!?!?!?!!? Maybe the ppl who said to vote for murphy will fund bags for kllal.

  4. Boxes are allowed (for now..keep voting Democrat)

    however if the option is to take a free box or pay for a bag…this might induce the stores to charge for boxes.

    I think a huge protest in Trenton is in order.

  5. And FYI… this law was passed at the height of the covid pandemic in 2020. So when they shut down out lives and businesses and people didn’t have jobs or money and were dying, this is what nj legislature was busy with… a bag ban. Just goes to show where their priorities lie. This is what we get voting in democrats as hakaras hatov… how’s that working out for us?

  6. Shoplifting will increase as a result of this ban; in some states it’s illegal to enter a store carrying bags.
    I think that stores will find very inexpensive sources for reusable bags of which will be provided at No Charge to encourage customers to buy more, as most customers wouldn’t spend more than a dime to buy a bag.

  7. I want to really thank Governor Murphy for this new law. The oceans are full with plastics and any amount that we can do to fix this problem is commendable. When I was a kid not that many years ago, in markets we had paper bags. I believe for the good of the planet which we as Jews are responsible for, we owe it to the world

  8. I’ve never seen such a bunch of whiners. I’ve used reusable bags for years now and have just “retired” my first two after about 20 years. For small garbage cans I use a kitchen style bag and when it’s too full for the can I top it off with other items I’m throwing out. I’m using one kitchen bag compared to 3-5 single use bags. So less plastic is used. The best things about reusable bags is they don’t break, they hold more and the most I’ve ever paid is $1 each.

  9. Chill.
    If you know what is going on in the big wide-world you’ll know that many countries have this ban in place for years already.
    Not everything is politics. Nor is it some invisible global warming theory. We’ll survive.

  10. I’m no tree hugger, but as an avid angler (fisherman), I see countless of plastic bags & other plastic items that make it into our waterways. As such I believe such a law is to our benefit.
    Yes, I still drive a reg car ……

  11. First they ban Donald Trump, then they ban plastic bags. Pretty soon, all humans will be banned from grocery stores and social media platforms, and we’ll have to use robots to shop for us and to post social media messages for us. In fact, I hear the grocery stores and social media networks are currently developing a new filtering service that can automatically detect whether a shopper or commenter is human or robotic, and then block the human from using their services.
    You wouldn’t believe this, but my robot is smirking at me right now as I type this comment.

    • When a friend of his expressed concern to him that he might go to jail long term, the man confidently replied to him, “Don’t worry, I got this one in the bag.”

  12. A man, in defiance of the plastic bag ban, exits a grocery store with 3 plastic bags filled with groceries. He walks into his car and turns on the radio to listen to the baseball game. A store security official spots him, walks over to the car and asks him nonchalantly, “What’s happening, man?”
    “The bags are loaded”, he replied, “apparently, someone stole a bag.”

  13. I’m confused.

    Are all large grocery stores laying off ther baggers? If the only option is to offer reusable bags for a fee, then it should be up to the customer how many to purchase, making the bagger obsolete.

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