The "Bag Up NJ" campaign is the New Jersey Clean Communities Council’s new single use plastic and paper bag ban outreach campaign, which has a simple message: Bring your own reusable bag(s) when you shop.
This campaign educates and reminds consumers about their options for sustainability at the checkout counter. Consumers can bring their own reusable bags when they shop and recycle their plastic bags.
On Nov. 4, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature enacted the most progressive bag ban law in the country. The law prevents litter and encourages the use of reusable bags by phasing out single-use plastic and paper bags.
The law bans plastic bags, regardless of thickness, at grocery stores and retail outlets, as well as paper bags at grocery stores measuring more than 2,500 square feet. It also bans polystyrene foam food service products; and makes plastic straws at restaurants available only upon request.
While we often hear about the environmental impact of disposable plastic bags, it is important to remember that disposable paper bags have a significant impact on the environment too. Papermaking requires large inputs of water, energy, chemicals, and wood, and produces various wastes and emissions that must be controlled or treated. Additionally, paper bags require ten times the amount of trucks to deliver the same quantity of bags, resulting in increased truck traffic and diesel emissions.
The statewide ban on disposable bags goes into effect on May 4, 2022 and will create an effective and uniform sustainable policy for all shoppers and business owners in NJ. Reducing waste and litter statewide is a good thing; “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.