Plastic Bag Ban

MC Reduce Reuse Recycle Bags

P.L.2020, c.117 Implementation Timeline

Effective date - 11/4/2020 (signed into law)

2020

11/4/2020 - No municipality or county can adopt any rule, regulation, code, or ordinance concerning the regulation or prohibition of single-use plastic carryout bags or paper carryout bags, or polystyrene foam food service products, or single-use plastic straws.

2021

5/4/2021 - The Department of State in consultation with DEP shall establish a program to assist businesses in complying with the provisions of the law.

5/4/2021 - NJ Clean Communities shall develop and implement a Statewide public information and education campaign concerning the provisions of this Act.

11/4/2021 - Food service businesses shall only provide single-use plastic straws to customers upon request.

11/4/2021 - The single-use plastic straw provision shall supersede and preempt any municipal or county rule, regulation, code, or ordinance concerning the regulation or prohibition of single-use plastic straws that was enacted prior to November 4, 2020.

2022

5/4/2022 - No store shall provide or sell single-use plastic carryout bags to customers.

5/4/2022 - Grocery stores (over 2,500 sq. ft.) shall not provide or sell single-use paper carryout bags to customers.

5/4/2022 - No person or food service business shall provide or sell a polystyrene foam food service product or food in a polystyrene foam food service product to customers.

5/4/2022 - The provisions for single-use plastic and paper carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products shall supersede and preempt any municipal or county rule, regulation, code, or ordinance concerning the regulation or prohibition of single-use plastic and paper carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products that was enacted prior to November 4, 2020.

5/4/2022 - DEP, municipalities, and any other entity certified pursuant to the “County Environmental Health Act” shall be able to enforce this law and institute penalties to violators of this Act.

2024

5/4/2024 - Two-year exemption for the polystyrene foam food service products previously exempted from the provisions of the law (more information can be found in the FAQ document) ends. The Department may extend this exemption for additional periods not to exceed one year upon a written determination that there is no cost-effective and readily available alternative for the item. This requirement will be further clarified through rulemaking procedures and interim guidance if necessary.

5/4/2024 - The department may, upon written application by a person or food service business, waive the polystyrene provisions of the law for the person or food service business for a period not to exceed one year, if one of two situations are met. This requirement will be further clarified through rulemaking procedures and interim guidance is necessary.

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