Taking one of the nation’s strictest stances against single-use plastics, New Jersey will begin phasing in new prohibitions on the use of disposable bags and containers in all stores and food service businesses. Starting in May 2022, the state will ban both plastic and paper single-use bags, as well as disposable food containers and cups made out of polystyrene foam. Food service businesses will be allowed to provide single-use plastic straws only upon request starting November 2021.
The following products will be exempt from the ban for an additional two years after May 2022:
- Disposable, long-handled polystyrene foam soda spoons when required and used for thick drinks;
- Portion cups of two ounces or less, if used for hot foods or foods requiring lids;
- Meat and fish trays for raw or butchered meat, including poultry, or fish that is sold from a refrigerator or similar retail appliance;
- Any food product pre-packaged by the manufacturer with a polystyrene foam food service product; and
- Any other polystyrene foam food service product as determined necessary by the Department of Environmental Protection.