NJBAC Announces the Vendor Clearinghouse for Reusable Bags

Created 18 November 2021

N.J. Business Action Center Launches “Vendor Clearinghouse” To Identify Sources of Reusable and Paper Carryout Bags in Advance of State’s Single-use Plastic Carryout Bag Ban

Businesses are urged to prepare now for new requirements, which take effect May 4, 2022

TRENTON, N.J. –– The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC), a business advocacy resource housed within the New Jersey Department of State, has launched a vendor clearinghouse of wholesale vendors to help business owners prepare for the state’s ban on the provision or sale of single-use plastic and paper carryout bags, effective May 4, 2022. This courtesy list identifies wholesale vendors and manufacturers who sell reusable and paper carryout bags that meet the requirements of the new law.  

On Nov. 4, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law P.L. 2020, c.117, which prohibits the provision or sale of single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam foodservice products in all stores and food-service businesses statewide. The law also prohibits the provision or sale of single-use paper carryout bags by grocery stores that occupy 2,500 square feet or more. The law required the creation of a vendor clearinghouse to aid businesses in identifying vendors and manufacturers who sell reusable carryout bags allowed by the new law.

“The law banning plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food container products will impact many businesses across the state,” said Melanie Willoughby, executive director of the NJBAC. “We urge businesses to prepare for the plastic carryout bag ban now by learning about the requirements and finding vendors that offer reusable alternatives.”

Businesses that decide to sell or provide reusable carryout bags must ensure that the bags meet the requirements as defined in the law. To be considered a “reusable carryout bag,” the product must be:

  • Made of polypropylene fabric, PET non-woven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp product, or other washable fabric; and
  • have stitched handles; and
  • be designed and manufactured for at least 125 reuses.

All businesses that do not comply with the law are subject to an initial warning potentially followed by daily fines.

The State of New Jersey welcomes registration by manufacturers and distributors of reusable and paper carryout bags. Vendors from any geographic region that are registered to do business in New Jersey and sell products that meet the requirements of the new law may register on NJBAC’s website to be added to the vendor clearinghouse list:  https://business.nj.gov/bags/vendorclearinghouse.

The NJBAC and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection  have also provided many online resources, including an implementation timeline and a chart of impacted establishments.  Information and resources about the ban and reusable bag requirements can be found at business.nj.gov/bags/plastic-ban-law and nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law.

About the New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC)

The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC), housed within the New Jersey Department of State and operating under the leadership of Executive Director Melanie Willoughby, is a business-first resource that offers no-cost, confidential assistance to help businesses plan, start, operate, and grow. The team helps companies of all sizes save time and money by getting answers from government agencies, directing businesses to appropriate officials and contacts, and facilitating meetings and follow-ups from regulatory agencies. The NJBAC is responsible for educating businesses on how to properly comply with the “ban the plastic bag” law. For further information, visit our website where NJBAC business experts are available via a “Live Chat” and helpline at 1-800-JERSEY-7, Mon.-Fri., 8am-5pm, or follow us on Twitter at @NJBAC. To learn more, visit:  https://www.business.nj.gov.

About the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) was established on April 22, 1970 – America’s first official Earth Day. Today, NJDEP employees through dozens of programs continue to advance innovative strategies to safeguard and enhance New Jersey’s air, water, and land and the health of all its residents. The NJDEP is responsible for the overall implementation of P.L. 2020, c.117 including the adoption of implementing regulations. To learn more, visit: https://www.nj.gov/dep/.

About the New Jersey Clean Communities Council (NJCCC)

The New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Inc. (NJCCC) is the 501c3 nonprofit that works closely with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the New Jersey Department of Treasury to administer the Clean Communities program. The NJCCC is responsible for developing and implementing a statewide public information and education program for P.L. 2020, c.117, including limited distribution of free reusable bags. To learn more, visit: https://www.njclean.org/ and https://www.BagUpNJ.com/.

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