New Jersey Plastic Bag Ban Starts May 4

Margate Ventnor Downbeach Plastic Bag ban

Starting May 4, the strictest plastic bag ban in the nation will go into effect in New Jersey.

Paper bags will also be banned in New Jersey grocery stores.

As of May 4:

  • Plastic bags banned at all stores.
  • Paper bags banned at large grocery stores. ex: ShopRite, Acme.
  • Grocery store larger than 2,500 sq ft can’t offer or sell paper bags to customers.
  • Styrofoam take-out food containers banned.

Bottom line: every grocery shopper in NJ will need to bring their own reusable bags.

New Jersey has the most restrictive paper & plastic bag ban. The toughest in the nation. Styrofoam containers on the hit list too.

Any retail store that’s not a grocery store can still provide paper bags. ex: Home Depot, women’s clothing boutiques, etc. can still give shoppers their purchases in brown paper bags.

Stores cannot require customers to purchase a reusable tote.

Any store breaking new law will be given a warning for first offense, then fines up to $1,000 per day for second offense, and up to $5,000 per day for third and subsequent violations.

Some items that can still go in plastic bags:

  • Dry cleaning.
  • Uncooked meat, fish or poultry.
  • Bags used to contain food sliced or prepared to order, including soup and hot food.
  • Bags provided by a pharmacy, such as a bag containing prescription medicine.
  • Bags for animals, such a bag containing fish you buy at a pet store.

3 thoughts on “New Jersey Plastic Bag Ban Starts May 4”

  1. I don’t understand why large grocery stores can’t offer paper bags. They tell you that paper straws are okay but not paper bags? Get ready for folks to stuff things into strollers, pockets, etc., especially when they forget their reusable bag.

    1. You can’t be serious with that comparison. It takes about 5,000 paper straws to fill one paper bag.

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