New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law S-864, which phases out both plastic and paper disposable bags and polystyrene foodservice items, and provides for plastic straws only upon request.
The bag ban is expected to take effect in 18 months.
In September, New Jersey lawmakers passed the legislation, which outlaws the use or sale of single-use plastic carryout bags, single-use paper carryout bags and polystyrene foam foodservice products, and limit the provision of single-use plastic straws.The law effects grocery stores and retail outlets like Walmart.
The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) and its members have been working on this issue for many years, advocating for a uniform statewide standard to phase out disposable bags and encourage reusable bag use. A newsletter from the NJFC noted that it "greatly appreciates" its members’ time and efforts on this bill, especially the work of its Disposable Bag Taskforce.
NJFC CEO Linda Doherty noted in September that the new law would "put an end to the municipal madness and proliferation of varying local ordinances.”
Trenton-based NJFC will now be working with members to implement a “Choose to Reuse” reusable bag public education campaign.