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NEW JERSEY (WABC) — Starting today, 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.

It’s all about protecting the environment, because according to the EPA, less than 10 percent of discarded plastic actually gets recycled.

The rest goes to landfills, ends up as litter or is incinerated.
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So Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature enacted this law on November 4, 2020 – and it is the most progressive bag ban law in the country.

“This smart, uniform statewide law preempts all local ordinances,” said New Jersey Food Council CEO Linda Doherty, who is also president of the New Jersey Clean Communities Council.
There is a warning for a first offense, up to $1,000 for a second offense, and up to $5,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

Penalties for violations will be deposited in the Clean Communities Program Fund, except that a municipality may retain 30 percent of any penalty it collects.

The law is strict.

Some stores, including 272 Wawa locations in the Garden State, are giving out free reusable bags today.

The Wawa giveaway comes with a purchase only, to the first 1000 customers at those 272 locations.

ALSO READ | Stop & Shop giving away free reusable bags ahead of NJ plastic ban

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Source: This post first appeared on abc7NY

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