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The New Jersey Business Action Center is reminding small restaurants and stores of their need to comply with the recent plastic and paper carryout bag ban before local health departments conduct inspections of their facilities.

Under state law, retail stores, grocery stores and food service businesses may not provide or sell single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products, commonly called called styrofoam. 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.

The state maintains an online vendor list where businesses affected by the ban can find alternative carryout products.

According to the New Jersey Plastics Council’s annual report, released in May, approximately 5.5 billion single-use plastic bags and 110 million single-use paper bags were eliminated from entering the waste stream and environment by the supermarket sector alone from the effective date of the law on May 4, 2022 through the end of the year.

A link to the Department of Environment Protection’s “Get Past Plastic” website can be found here.

A Plastics Inspection & Compliance webinar conducted by NJBAC, the state Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Health can be found here.