TODAY: Plastic Bag Ban Goes into Effect in New Jersey (So Don’t Package Your Legal Marijuana in illegal Bags…)

Starting today, 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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29 COMMENTS

  1. It’s nothing new to me. My father was a galicianer Holocaust survivor & my mother a litvack, but she was the most frugal, she never wasted anything, she never wasted a bit of water even though NYC water was free and unmetered at that time; in the 1960’s when I went shopping with her: to the grocery store she always brought her own brown paper bags ( which were meant to be disposable) and the store owners used to comment about it, they liked it.
    Now in Lakewood when beautiful 1970’s 4 bedroom homes are torn down to put up mansions is difficult for me to look at.

  2. In NJ snuffing out the life of the unborn can’t be restricted but bags at checkout are verboten with massive fines if you dont comply.

  3. Walmart in Brick were z’rizim, they haven’t had bags since last week. I picked up an order there yesterday and the guy brought my (4) items out in his pockets and handed them to me. I watched another employee placing individual cans, boxes & bottles (from what seemed to be a fairly large grocery order) into someone’s trunk. He brought it out in one of those plastic boxes they use &was just dumping each item in. This is insane!

    • Most stores- NOTHING! You will have the option to buy a reusable bag.

      I believe that non-grocery stores can (& will) use paper bags (which I imagine they will give for free). The problem is, I think any store that sells groceries, even if they sell mostly other stuff (think Walmart & target) is included in the paper ban. So this exception would only apply to other types of stores (I imagine kohl’s, Michael’s, center of town, etc).

      Some stores might give/sell boxes or come up with other ways around the law.

    • They will give you nothing. They check out your items… and you are on your own. Like Costco always was (except they had much bigger items). There is a provision for like fruit and vegetables and stuff… but all other items are as is. I am sure they will have a stack of reusable bags you can buy for $1 – $2 each if you want… but otherwise put the cans and boxes and packages back in your cart as is and throw them into your car loose. Unless you bring along your own reusable bags. you can buy those $1 – $2 bags or otherwise get them… then bring them along… and then put your groceries in them when you are done. I wonder if this will massively slow things down… or if high volume locations will still have someone bag stuff for you! I also wonder if they can use boxes. They can’t use paper bags… but can they use a box?

  4. It’s draconian. It makes no sense. If we’re buying our own bags anyway, it just makes everything cost more and does nothing for the environment. Just another of Rich Big Brother Murphy trying to control us.

  5. Hey Mr. Governor,
    Where are all the free bags that you claimed were going to get distributed?
    Are you not proud of this Amazingly Popular legistlation –
    Why don’t I see any photo ops, a tweet from you? Are too busy with Womens rights etc.?
    Mr. Governor, if New Jersyians overwhelmingly support this ban – Why Haven’t I seen over the years more than a handful of people using reusable bags? Who exactly was stopping your bag ban supporters from using reusable bags??

  6. The vad that endorsed Murphy should be giving out bags. It should say vad on them With a picture of all of those that are on the VAD!!!

  7. IMO, plastic bags are illegal but abortions and marijuana are legal. Umos Ulamos. Golus. More insanity everyday. This is all about greedy politicians and getting their take. Hashem is surely taking notes. I pray he gets fed-up with them ASAP.

  8. I agree that this ban is stupid and wrong, but the world isn’t coming to an end! This has been the reality in E”Y for years and more recently in NYC. Eventually we will ask for boxes or we will get used to bringing our own bags. The ban doesn’t make sense, but it’s not an impossible situation. Relax…

  9. Let’s just wait for the first salmonella outbreak due to people reusing bags, and then we will hear our politicians blaming everyone but themselves.

  10. Next time u vote do not listen to the vaad. In fact u need to vote exactly for the other candidate like Jack. If all the frum people in nj would vote as a block our candidate would win. Your talking about a Quarter Of a Million votes. Big number2

    • The only problem is that, locally, the opposition doesn’t put up a viable candidate. We need more capable, knowledegable, experienced local people to step up to the plate and run against all our officials who have been elected again and again and got us into the mess that is Lakewood today. I try not to vote for the Vaad recommendations, but we need a good alternative! Anyone?

  11. these liberals are getting worse buy the day, I believe this is the straw that will break their back. people have brains we hope!

  12. The airlines told me that they will still be providing airsickness bags in case I get nauseous – even on planes deaparting from New Jersey – so I don’t have to bring my own bag, thank goodness. As far as the marijuana bags are concerned, I prefer to use reusable bags for my marijuana because the aroma in the bags gets stronger and stronger the more you use the bags, and I like that. Mmmm.
    But thanks for the heads up anyway.

  13. Good on the big chain stores who are managing to cut costs, run a profit, and have the government to blame for the inconvenience caused….. those lobbyists are good

  14. Who wants to join me as I take all my kids smelly diapers and instead of evilly bagging them to prevent the smell we will put them in a box and ship them to gov Murphy . Second shipment goes to the askanim who endorsed him.

Comments are closed.