single-use plastic

Murphy Signs Single-Use Plastic and Paper Bags Ban in New Jersey Into Law

What to Know

  • It's official -- single-use plastic and paper bags in all stores and food service businesses in New Jersey are banned, this after Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill into law.
  • Starting May 2022, both plastic and paper single-use bags, as well as disposable food containers and cups made out of polystyrene foam, will be banned.
  • Additionally, the focus throughout the state will be on using reusable bags.

It's official -- single-use plastic and paper bags in all stores and food service businesses in New Jersey are banned, this after Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill into law.

The new measure, the strongest bag ban in the country, according to Murphy's office, is a significant step to reduce harm and pollution to the environment.

“Plastic bags are one of the most problematic forms of garbage, leading to millions of discarded bags that stream annually into our landfills, rivers, and oceans,” Murphy said in a statement. “With today’s historic bill signing, we are addressing the problem of plastic pollution head-on with solutions that will help mitigate climate change and strengthen our environment for future generations.”  

Starting May 2022, both plastic and paper single-use bags, as well as disposable food containers and cups made out of polystyrene foam, will be banned. Additionally, the focus throughout the state will be on using reusable bags.

The following products will be exempt for an additional two years after May 2022:  

  • Disposable, long-handled polystyrene foam soda spoons when required and used for thick drinks;
  • Portion cups of two ounces or less, if used for hot foods or foods requiring lids;
  •  Meat and fish trays for raw or butchered meat, including poultry, or fish that is sold from a refrigerator or similar retail appliance;
  • Any food product pre-packaged by the manufacturer with a polystyrene foam food service product; and
  • Any other polystyrene foam food service product as determined necessary by Department of Environmental Protection.

Under the new law, businesses in the food service industry will be allowed to provide single-use plastic straws only upon request starting November 2021.

“From our cities to our shores, single-use plastic bags unnecessarily litter New Jersey’s most treasured spaces and pollute our ecosystems,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe in a statement. “By banning single-use plastic bags, Governor Murphy and our legislature continue to make a New Jersey a national leader in environmental protection and the DEP stands ready to implement these new measures and educate the public.” 

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us