Both chambers of the New Jersey state legislature passed a broad bill (S864) yesterday that would ban or limit the distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags, single-use paper carryout bags, polystyrene foam food service products and single-use plastic straws. 

The plastic bag policy would apply to any “store or food service business,” while the paper bag policy would specifically apply to larger “grocery stores” of a certain size. Polystyrene foam food service product limitations would apply to any “food service business” or person selling food. All policies would take effect within 18 months of the bill’s final approval, with additional foam products phased in later. The straws on request policy would start within one year.

A Plastics Advisory Council would be established within the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to evaluate the policy’s effectiveness and study “various issues related to single-use plastics.” Additionally, $500,000 would be appropriated annually, for three years, from an existing cleanup fund to help DEP launch a statewide education campaign and distribute free reusable carryout bags.
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