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New Jersey Bag Ban Approaches

Specialty Food Association

Beginning tomorrow, New Jersey will ban retailers, food service outlets, and supermarkets from distributing plastic or paper carryout bags or polystyrene foam products. Customers must instead bring their own bags or purchase a reusable bag at the check-out counter.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the law in November of 2020 with an 18-month grace period that is coming to an end.

There are a few exceptions to this ban, notably bags used for uncooked meat and fish, food sliced or prepared to order, single-use plastic straws, and more are not included. Paper bags can still be sold at grocery stores smaller than 2,500 square feet. Food service outlets can also apply to be exempt from the polystyrene foam ban if they make less than $500,000 in gross annual income and no reasonable alternative can be afforded. A full list of ban terms and exemptions can be viewed on the website.

Those who violate the new bag ban will be subject to daily fines for each day the establishment has violated the law.

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