Plastic Bag Ban Guidance

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Bag Up NJ

Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature have enacted a plastic bag ban law which will go into effect on May 4, 2022. The law prevents litter and encourages the use of reusable bags by phasing out single-use plastic and paper bags.

The law bans plastic bags, regardless of thickness, at grocery stores and retail outlets, as well as paper bags at grocery stores measuring more than 2,500 square feet. It also bans polystyrene foam food service products; and makes plastic straws at restaurants available only upon request.

The "Bag Up NJ" campaign is the New Jersey Clean Communities Council’s new single use plastic and paper bag ban outreach campaign, which has a simple message: Bring your own reusable bag(s) when you shop.

This campaign educates and reminds consumers about their options for sustainability at the checkout counter. Consumers can bring their own reusable bags when they shop and recycle their plastic bags. Learn more at NJ Clean Communities' Bag Up NJ website.

Frequently asked questions

  • Q:  Will plastic bags for produce still be provided at the grocery store?
    A:  Yes, plastic bags used for loose items like fruit, vegetables, nuts, etc. are still permitted to be provided at the grocery store.  Green tip:  many grocery stores carry reusable mesh produce bags for purchase and you can use them again and again!  And there's no struggle to get them open!
  • Q:  Will fresh meat and fish still be wrapped in plastic?
    A:  Yes, plastic wrapping around fresh meat and fish is still permitted, as is wrapping for deli meats & cheeses.
  • Q:  Can I bring my own plastic bags to bag my grocery order?
    A:  Yes, you can bring your own plastic bags that you received from a previous shopping trip.  However, starting May 4, most grocery stores (larger than 2,500 square feet) can no longer provide single use plastic bags.

For more information, visit the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commission's (ANJEC) website.

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