New Jersey’s plastic bag ban is coming into force

An impending ban on plastic bags in the most densely populated US state is creating opportunities for promotional product companies.

On May 4, New Jersey will begin enforcing a law prohibiting the supply or sale of single-use plastic bags and styrofoam catering products in all stores and catering businesses in the state. The law also prohibits the supply or sale of single-use paper bags by grocery stores that occupy 2,500 square feet or more.

State officials and conservationists have encouraged residents and businesses to use reusable bags, like bags, as an alternative to disposables.

“The law banning plastic take-out bags and styrofoam food containers will impact many businesses across the state,” said Melanie Willoughby, executive director of the New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC). “We urge businesses to prepare for the plastic bag ban by learning about the requirements and finding suppliers who offer reusable alternatives.”

To this end, the NJBAC has launched a vendor clearinghouse to help Garden State business owners find reliable wholesalers and manufacturers from whom they can purchase reusable and paper bags that meet the requirements of the new regulations.

Sellers from any geographic region – including promotional product companies that sell reusable bags – who are registered to do business in New Jersey and sell products that meet the requirements of the new law can register. on the list of sellers.

With the ban’s effective date less than three months away, its reality is setting in for businesses — and many New Jersey media outlets, including New Jersey Business Magazine and the Atlantic City Press stepped up coverage of the need to incorporate reusable bags into shopping.

This environment means businesses of all kinds could now be in the market for branded reusable bags, which might be a good time for promotional companies to bring such solutions to market in New Jersey.

To qualify as a “reusable carrier bag” under the law, the product must be made of polypropylene fabric, PET non-woven fabric, nylon, woven fabric, hemp, or other washable fabric; have sewn handles; and be designed and manufactured for at least 125 reuses.

The impetus behind banning plastic bags is environmental. Supporters of the ban say the bags become sources of litter and pollution, spoiling natural habitats and posing a hazard to wildlife, which can choke or become entangled in the disposable items.

“Plastic bags are one of the most problematic forms of trash, resulting in millions of discarded bags pouring into our landfills, rivers and oceans each year,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “We are tackling the problem of plastic pollution head-on with solutions that will help mitigate climate change and strengthen our environment for future generations.”

Bryce K. Locke