On Wednesday, May 4, a new state law called “Bag Ban” goes into effect. In this case, supermarkets will not distribute free single-use paper or plastic bags. Customers will need to bring their own shopping bags or buy them from the supermarket.

Other retail stores and restaurants may continue to provide free paper bags, but will not be permitted to provide free plastic bags.

“The new statewide bag ban is going to be a big game changer for many shoppers. We hope to ease the transition by sharing some tips on how to adapt to reusable bags,” said Commissioner President Rebecca L. Williams.

To help remind shoppers, Union County produced the new “Grab a Bag” video, which is now streaming on the Union County YouTube channel at youtube.com.

Individuals, schools, organizations and businesses are welcome to share the video link for free.

Recommended tips include: hanging a stash of reusable bags by the door, putting a few bags in the car, and keeping a lightweight bag in a pocket, purse, or backpack for unexpected errands.

The bag ban is New Jersey public law. 2020, c 117, a comprehensive state law to reduce trash, waste, and pollution. The single-use plastic bag provision applies to all New Jersey retail stores. The single-use paper bag provision applies to grocery stores over 2,500 square feet.

The law was signed into law in 2020, giving retailers and the public two years to prepare for the switch to reusable bags.

Details of the law are available from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection at nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law.

Business owners and managers can find additional information at business.nj.gov/bags/plastic-ban-law.

For more information about free county-sponsored recycling events and other recycling programs in Union County, visit the Union County Office of Recycling and Planning online at ucnj.org/ recycle or call the Union County Hotline at 908-654-9889.

For quick links to all of Union County’s environmental programs and activities, visit The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution, and other emergency services. support, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available from the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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For all Union County programs and services, visit ucnj.org, call the public information line at 877-424-1234, email [email protected], or use the online contact form .

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