Trenton – To help fight widespread plastic pollution, legislation sponsored by Senators Bob Smith and Linda Greenstein to prohibit businesses from using single-use plastic bags and other disposable containers was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy. The new law will ban single-use plastic bags, paper bags, and polystyrene cups and containers.
“Environmental activists and supporters of this bill have been waiting years for this moment. Plastic pollution has caused untold damage to the environment and to our public health,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset), chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “Taking action to fight plastic pollution now is key to moving towards a plastic-free future. I want to thank the Governor for being a strong partner on this legislation.”
“If you go to the shore, you see plastic buried in the sand and floating in the ocean. There are an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastics currently in our oceans and about eight million metric tons are added each year,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex), vice-chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “We have heard from countless activists and residents around the state, and they have made it clear that they are sick of plastics polluting our ecosystem. Now that this bill is signed by the Governor, New Jersey is closer than ever to a cleaner, greener future.”
Starting in May 2022, single-use plastic and paper bags, and disposable polystyrene food containers, will be banned. Paper bags contribute to pollution due to the amount of energy and resources it takes to produce them. New Jersey will be the first state in the country to ban single-use paper bags.