There's a new ban on bags.
On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a new law that forbids businesses and corporations from distributing single-use plastics including shopping bags, styrofoam food containers, plastic drinking straws, and paper bags in the state of New Jersey. Passed in September, this law is said to be the strictest measure taken in the whole country against the pollutants.
"Plastic bags are one of the most problematic forms of garbage," said Murphy in a statement to the press, "leading to millions of discarded bags that stream annually into our landfills, rivers, and oceans. With today’s historic bill signing, we are addressing the problem of plastic pollution head-on with solutions that will help mitigate climate change and strengthen our environment for future generations."
The ban is specific, affecting restaurants, convenience stores, food trucks, movie theaters, and grocery stores that are larger than or equal to 2,500 square feet.
The law will go fully into effect in May 2022, though businesses are encouraged to begin as early as possible. There are exemptions for plastics like bags wrapping raw meat, polystyrene butcher trays, produce bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, and bags carrying prescription drugs. The consequences for the infraction will result in a warning the first time, a $1000 fine the second, and a $5000 fine for every time after.