New Jersey’s latest plastic laws take effect on May 4th, 2022, and continue the state’s attempts to eliminate single use plastics and other ecologically hazardous items. All establishments in New Jersey will be prohibited from selling or distributing single use plastic carryout bags to consumers, and will instead be allowed to give or sell only reusable carryout bags. A prohibition on all polystyrene foam food service goods goes into force on the same day.
Single use plastics carryout bags
NJ.gov lists out the new regulations regarding the bans.
According to the website, a “reusable carryout bag” must be:
Made of polypropylene fabric, PET non woven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp product, or other washable fabric
Have stitched handles
Be designed and manufactured for multiple reuses
Food service establishments are prohibited from selling or offering for sale any polystyrene foam food service goods under the prohibition. “A product produced, in whole or in part, of polystyrene foam that is used for selling or delivering a food or beverage, and includes but is not limited to a food container, plate, hot or cold beverage cup, meat or vegetable tray, flatware, or egg carton,” according to legislation.
Unless the DEP extends the exemption, the following items are exempt until May 4, 2024:
- When needed, disposable, long-handled polystyrene foam soda spoons are utilized for thick beverages.
- If using for hot foods or items that require lids, portion cups of two ounces or less are recommended.
- Meat and fish trays are used to sell raw or butchered meat, including chicken, or fish from a refrigerator or other retail device.
- Any food product that has been pre-packaged with a polystyrene foam food service product by the producer.
- The DEP may deem any additional polystyrene foam food service product required.
Penalties for non-compliance and enforcement:
A person or corporation that breaches the legislation will be cautioned for the first offense, penalized up to $1,000 per day for the second offense, and fined up to $5,000 per day for the third and subsequent infractions, according to NJ.gov. For each day that a violation is regarded a violation, it is considered an extra, independent, and distinct crime. The legislation can be enforced by the DEP, municipalities, and any other agency that has been certified under the “County Environmental Health Act.”
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