On Nov. 3, 2020 Governor Murphy signed into law the strongest plastics legislation in the country. The Plastic Pollution Reduction Act (A1978/S864) is now the law of the land. The law includes a full ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene foam food service products. Large stores will be banned from providing paper bags, while small businesses will be allowed to provide paper bags for free as they always have. It is critical that we cut down on paper bag usage, as the production of paper bags causes three times the carbon emissions as the production of plastic bags. Plastic straws will be made available at restaurants and bars by request only.
NJ Clean Communities funds will also be set aside for the first three years to help local governments with educational efforts and the purchasing of reusable bags for residents.
Thank you to the Mayor and Town Council who supported the Montclair Environmental Commission’s proposed plastic reduction ordinance over a year ago. It will remain in place until the state law goes into effect in May 2022. Thanks to Montclair’s citizens and retailers for making it an easy transition. We are now one step closer to a plastic-free future!