The use of plastic bags, polystyrene foam food service products, plastic straws, and other materials have taken center stage in the nation’s commitment to eliminate plastic waste. California was the only state with plastic bag laws but has since been joined by Oregon, New York, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, and Delaware. There are 471 local plastic bag ordinances that have been adopted in 28 states.
New Jersey will soon join the other states. According to the website, Business.NJ.Gov, starting May 4th, 2022, New Jersey retail stores, grocery stores, and food service businesses may not provide or sell single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products. Single-use paper carryout bags are allowed to be provided or sold, except by grocery stores equal to or larger than 2,500 square feet, which may only provide or sell reusable carryout bags. After November 4th, 2021, plastic straws may be provided only upon the request of the customer.
What is the importance of the ban and its relevance to families and communities?
The understandable purpose is to reduce the garbage and plastic waste footprint found on beaches, shores, parks, and public spaces. Encouraging the public to use cloth bags or reusable bags will aid in this reduction. The intent is not to steer patrons and businesses to paper bags. Cloth bags have become a way for companies and small businesses to provide a service to their patrons and communities and reduce plastic waste.
Plastic lingers in the environment for ages, threatening wildlife and spreading toxins. Plastic also contributes to global warming. Therefore, our reliance on plastic prolongs our demand for unclean fuels. Burning plastics in incinerators also releases climate-wrecking gases and toxic air pollution. Banning plastic bags improves the life and health of families and communities in New Jersey and the world.
Environmental impact of the plastic bag ban
With the ban, New Jersey takes a leadership role in addressing the problem of plastic pollution with solutions to protect the environment for future generations. Most single-use plastic carryout bags end up in landfills, are incinerated, or accumulate in the environment. They litter and degrade the quality of waterways and oceans where they do not biodegrade and, through photodegradation, release chemicals into the environment that are harmful to human health. This negatively impacts major contributors to the New Jersey economy, such as the tourism, fishing, shipping industries, and recreation.
Single-use paper carryout bags have been found to significantly impact the environment by requiring substantial water, energy, chemicals, and wood to produce them. Reusable carryout bags made of materials specified in the law provide a durable, hygienic, and environmentally-friendly alternative.
How does this new law impact my business?
Retailers and consumer businesses will no longer use single-use plastic bags. The law describes reusable carryout bags as an alternative:
- Are made of polypropylene fabric, PET non-woven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp product, or other washable fabric, and
- Have stitched handles (either thread or ultrasonic, T-Shirt bags are permitted), and
- Are designed and manufactured for at least 125 reuses.
Our commitment to the community and environment.
Exquisite Property Services believes that building a solid and healthy community begins with taking pride in each property. In addition, quality cleaning, clean-up, and preservation enhance all properties’ value within a community.
Exquisite Property Services uses cleaning products, where possible, that are environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Priority is given to procurement products approved by certifying agencies, including EPA, ISO, Safer Choice, and Green Seal. We replace harsh chemicals and bleaches with natural products like vinegar, baking soda, lemon, essential oils, and other eco-friendly options.
We are in the process of creating and purchasing reusable bags to distribute to our clients and the community. Contact us about our environmental policies and commitment to a healthy and clean New Jersey.
Blog resources: Business.NJ.Gov,