Everything You Need To Know About The Bag Ban

New York

What is the New York Plastic Bag Ban?


The New York Plastic Bag Ban, also known as The Plastic Bag Waste Reduction Act, is a state mandated regulation banning the distribution of disposable shopping bags by any retail establishment in New York, as well as imposing a 5 cent tax per paper bag to be collected by the store owner.




Who is no longer allowed to provide plastic bags under the New York Plastic Bag Ban?


Any person required to collect New York State sales tax will no longer be able to provide plastic carryout bags, as defined in Title 28 of the ECL, to their customers.




What does the term "plastic carryout bag" mean? Does this include all plastic bags?


Any plastic bag that is not either reusable or part of an exempt category (see below) is banned for use by the New York Plastci Bag Ban.




What kind of bags are exempt from the New York Plastic Bag Ban?


  • Reusable bags are not part of the New York Plastic Bag Ban
  • Bags used for solely for non-prepackaged food are exempt from the New York Plastic Bag Ban
  • Bags sold as a trash bag are exempt from the New York Plastic Bag Ban
  • Bags used by a restaurant for carry out or to deliver prepared food are exempt from the New York Plastic Bag Ban
  • Bags provided by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs are not part of the New York Plastic Bag Ban




When does the New York Plastic Bag Ban take effect?


The New York Plastic Bag Ban began to take effect on March 1, 2020. However, due to consumer and industry pushback, the state Department of Environmental Conservation agreed to wait one month, until April 1, to enforce penalties against stores that do not comply




Where can I learn more about the New York Plastic Bag Ban?


Bag Arts has been researching and educating store owners on the details of this law since it was introduced. Please fill out the form on the bottom of this page to request more information if you are a store owner.





New Jersey

What is the New Jersey Plastic and Paper single-use carryout Bag Ban?


The plastic and paper single-use carryout bag ban has many requirements and some exceptions. In general, the law prohibits all Stores, Food Service Businesses, and Grocery Stores from selling or providing their customers with single use plastic carryout bags. In addition, Grocery Stores that occupy at least 2,500 square feet may not provide single-use paper carryout bags.




What kind of bags are exempt from the New Jersey Plastic Bag Ban?


  • a bag used solely to contain or wrap uncooked meat, fish, or poultry.
  • a bag used solely to package loose items such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, grains, baked goods, candy, greeting cards, flowers, bulk food, or small hardware items.
  • a bag used solely to contain live animals, such as fish or insects sold in a pet store.
  • a bag used solely to contain food sliced or prepared to order, including soup or hot food.
  • a laundry, dry cleaning, or garment bag.
  • a bag provided by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs.
  • a bag for newspapers.
  • any similar bag, as determined by the Department pursuant to rule, regulation, or guidance.




When does the New Jersey Plastic Bag Ban take effect?


The New Jersey Plastic Bag Ban is scheduled to take effect on May 4, 2022




Where can I learn more about the New Jersey Plastic Bag Ban?


You can learn more about the bag ban from the State of New Jersey official website www.nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law/#single_use_bags





Philadelphia

What is the Philadephia Plastic and Paper single-use carryout Bag Ban?


As of October 1,2021 the City of Philadelphia officially prohibited businesses from using single-use plastic bags and non-recycled content paper bags.




Why ban plastic bags?


Philadelphians use almost 1 billion plastic bags each year, which litter our streets, waterways, and commercial corridors. Plastic bags account for over 10,000 hours of lost staff time and pose a danger to workers at recycling facilities because they get caught in the equipment. Banning plastic bags will make our city cleaner, reduce waste and save money.




What is banned?


The legislation prohibits commercial businesses from providing on-site or with a delivery:

  • All single-use plastic bags. This includes all those created through a “blown film extrusion” process. or bags that are less than 2.25 mils thick.
  • Bags made from PLA (polylactic acid) created through a blown film extrusion process.
  • Any paper bag that does not contain at least 40 percent recycled content and does not meet the labeling criteria set in the legislation.




What kind of bags will still be allowed?


Reusable bags:

  • Made of nylon, cotton, cloth, polyester, or another machine washable fabric that are specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuses.
  • Reusable plastic bags that are not created through blown film extrusion, are more than 2.25 mils thick and are specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuses.

Paper bags that:

  • Contain a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content
  • Contain no old-growth fiber
  • Display the word “Recyclable” or “Recycled Content” in a highly visible manner and are labeled with the name of the manufacturer and the percentage of post-consumer recycled content of the bag in an easy-to-read font size




Which businesses are affected?


The ban will affect all retail establishments of all sizes in Philadelphia that make bags available for carryout items (such as food, clothing, home goods, etc.) and/or for delivery. These businesses include establishments, indoor or outdoor, where food or other products are offered to the public for sale, including supermarkets, convenience stores, shops, service stations, department stores, clothing stores, restaurants, food trucks, farmers’ markets, and delivery services.




Are there any exemptions?


The following bags are exempt:

  • Dry cleaner bags.
  • Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage bags or to contain pet waste or yard waste.
  • Bags used inside a retail establishment by a customer to deliver perishable items to the point of sale (including bags used to package bulk items, meats or fish, unwrapped prepared foods, bakery goods, flowers, potted plants, or similar items).




What is the timeline for implementation?


July 1, 2021

Implementation of legislation goes into effect.

October 1, 2021

Single-use plastic bags are now prohibited.

April 1, 2022

Enforcement agencies will issue violations to non-compliant businesses.




What are the signage requirements, and where can I find signs to post?


Beginning August 1, 2021, and for at least six months thereafter, retail establishments are required to post signage at all points of sale informing customers that single-use plastic bags and non-compliant paper bags will no longer be provided by the establishment. The City has developed signage in multiple languages available for download at phila.gov/plastic-bag-ban and will be distributing it to businesses for this purpose.




What happens to businesses that do not comply?


Businesses using prohibited bags after October 1, 2021, can be reported to 311. Until April 1, 2022, businesses will receive a warning to remind them about the ban. After April 1, 2022, any retail establishment that fails to comply will be subject to violation notices which carry penalties of at least $75. Each violation of the ordinance is subject to a separate fine. The City can take repeat offenders to court and ask the judge to impose higher penalties. If fines are not paid, a lien can be put on the business.




What resources will the City provide to help businesses comply with the ban and inform residents of the changes?


The City held a series of digital business information sessions in the spring of 2021 that are available to watch online. This City is also providing resources to help businesses comply with the requirements and to inform residents of the changes, which are available on the City’s website phila.gov/plastic-bag-ban.





Since the Plastic Bag Ban was introduced across the United States, Bag Arts has been helping store owners understand this law and how to achieve compliance to avoid penalties.
 
If you own a store and need help, we would love to assist you navigate this new regulation and give you all the information you need to make the right decisions for your business.

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