Single-use plastic carryout bags will be forbidden in New Jersey beginning May 4, 2022, for grocery shops, food service establishments, and other retail outlets. Additionally, supermarket businesses with a floor space of more than 2,500 square feet will only be permitted to supply or sell reusable carryout bags rather than single-use paper carryout bags. (for more detail information: https://www.nj.gov/dep/get-past-plastic/)
What will be included in the Styrofoam ban?
Gov. Phil Murphy signed a single-use plastic bag ban into law on Nov. 4, 2020, which also prohibits anybody from selling or giving away Styrofoam products. This, along with the elimination of paper bags at big food shops in New Jersey, is one of the reasons the ban will likely be regarded as the most stringent in the country.
Unlike the paper bag ban, which allows for certain exclusions based on business size, the Styrofoam prohibition is sweeping and applies to every place and entity.
Restaurants may give single-use paper bags and must serve or transport food in plastic, paper, or metal containers, but no Styrofoam will be permitted, according to the plastic bag legislation.
The following are among individuals who will be harmed, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection:
- Cafes and Coffee shops
- Grocery stores and big box stores (of all sizes)
- Convenience stores
- Vending trucks or carts
- Food trucks
- Movie theaters
- Business or institutional cafeterias (like those in office buildings, hospitals, college campuses, etc.)
- Non-profit organizations
- Liquor stores
- Drug stores
- Retail stores
- K-12 schools and colleges
“A’polystyrene foam food service product’ is defined as a product made, in whole or in part, of polystyrene foam that is used for selling or providing a food or beverage, and includes but is not limited to a food container, plate, hot or cold beverage cup, meat or vegetable tray, cutlery, or egg carton,” according to the DEP’s website.
What do I need to acquire a waiver for Styrofoam?
According to the DEP, the applicant for a food service company must fulfill one of the following requirements:
- For a certain polystyrene foam food service product, there is no practicable and commercially accessible alternative
- There is no reasonably reasonable, commercially available alternative to the polystyrene foam food service product and the individual or firm has a gross yearly income of less than $500,000
Is the Styrofoam prohibition applicable to pre-packaged Styrofoam items, such as egg cartons?
Yes, however the DEP stated that these items, including egg cartons, will be excluded for two years from the regulation.
“Provided that the retail outlet selling the eggs in the polystyrene foam egg carton receives the items from the producer in the polystyrene foam egg carton,” the DEP said. “During the rule-making process, the Department will continue to study and analyze the definition of ‘pre-packaged,’ and new (or different) guidance may be applied.”
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