NJ’s Plastic Bag Ban Bill One Step Closer to Realization

Thursday, December 5, 2019
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Passes Senate Budget Committee 8-4-1

Trenton, NJ – NJ's plastic bag ban bill (S2776/A4330) cleared a critical hurdle today when it was amended and passed out of the Senate Budget Committee. Key provisions include a ban on many single use plastic bags at most stores in one year, a ban on polystyrene foam food containers in two years, only providing plastic straws on request, and a targeted ban on paper bags at large grocery stores. The bill also eliminates local fees on bags and requires retailers to offer free reusable bags for the first 2 months once the bag bans go into effect.

“Moving this bill is a huge step forward and has been a long time coming. For several years, New Jersey communities large and small have shown environmental leadership by passing local ordinances," said Eric Benson, Campaign Director. "We believe this statewide solution to single use bags and polystyrene products is best for the environment, and creates consistency and a level playing field for the business community."

"This bill is one of the best ways to start the widespread change we need to address our waste problem. It’s not just about whether the packaging material is paper or plastic," said Maura Toomey, ReThink Disposable Organizer. "It's about preventing waste in the first place, and building a culture of reuse into our systems and economy.

“We’d like to thank all the sponsors and legislative leadership, especially Senator Smith, and Governor Murphy for their persistent efforts to keep moving forward since the legislature first seriously considered this issue a year and a half ago,” said Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director. “We’re close to the finish line, now we just have to cross it before Christmas.”

The plastic bag bill still needs to pass the Assembly Environment Committee, scheduled for Monday December 9th,and a full Senate and Assembly floor before the end of the session on January 14, 2020.


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress. Clean Water Action has nearly 1 million members nationwide. www.cleanwater.org/nj


Maura Toomey