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The state Department of Environmental Protection opened the registration process this week for manufacturers who produce certain glass, paper and plastic containers sold in New Jersey, which must soon meet minimum recycled content standards under a 2022 law.

Manufacturers of rigid plastic containers, plastic beverage containers, plastic trash bags, plastic carryout bags, paper carryout bags, and glass containers are affected by the new standards that take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. The law exempts containers for milk products, medical food, infant formula, and food for special dietary use from the new minimum recycled content standards.

The law, which aims to boost the market for postconsumer recycled content, required manufacturers of these regulated container and packaging products to begin registering as of July 18, 2022, and annually thereafter. The 2023 registration process that opened this week includes a $2,000 application fee because DEP did not collect the annual fee in 2022. Beginning in 2024, the fee will be $1,000 annually.

Manufacturers are not required to pay the fee if they have less than $5 million in annual revenues or if they only manufacture products that are exempt from the Recycled Content Law. Manufacturers can also apply for a waiver if they can demonstrate in writing that it is not technically feasible to achieve the new postconsumer recycled content requirements.

To register for 2023, manufacturers must fill out DEP’s Regulated Containers and Packaging Products Spreadsheet and create an account with NJDEP Online. Go here to download the latest version of the 2023 spreadsheet from the DEP website and learn more about the application process, exemptions, and waivers.

Manufacturers who are unsure of whether they need to register or want to learn more about the Recycled Content law should go to the DEP’s website here for information about covered manufacturers, key dates, types of regulated product containers, and a chart of the new phased-in recycled content standards for 2024 through 2045 for various products.