The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Doug O’Malley, Environment New Jersey State Director, 917-449-6812, 
Alex Truelove, Zero Waste Director, U.S. PIRG, 215-630-7250,
Taran Volckhausen, Communications Associate, 720-212-9955,

New Jersey Governor Signs Strongest Ban on Single-Use Plastics in Nation, Promotes Reusable Bags

Victory caps multi-year campaign; implementation begins spring 2022.


In a win for wildlife and waterways, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the strongest single-use plastics ban in the nation into law today. Going into effect early spring 2022, the new law will ban single-use plastics bags and polystyrene, restrict straws to on-request only and phase out paper bags at larger grocery stores.

Since plastics legislation was introduced more than two years ago, many other states, including New York, have passed legislation which includes components of New Jersey's now-signed law. Currently, 8 states ban single-use plastic bags, four states have banned polystyrene foam foodware, and three states have implemented a straw-by-request policy.

Local municipal campaigns laid the groundwork for the statewide measure. In total, 55 municipalities in the Garden State had passed and implemented local laws reducing single-use plastics - with more than 1 million New Jerseyans living in towns and counties that had already taken action to address the plastic pollution crisis before the state bill was passed.

Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, issued the following statement:

"Gov. Murphy signed the strongest single-use ban on plastics in the country to prioritize our wildlife and our communities over endless plastic waste polluting our waterways. We are deeply thankful for Gov. Murphy's leadership. Two years ago, the governor vetoed a half-measure plastics bag bill to hold out for a more comprehensive ban. We are thrilled that New Jersey can be a national leader in reducing single-use waste."

Alex Truelove, Zero Waste director for U.S. PIRG, added:

"Disposable plastic items we use for a few minutes should not pollute our environment and communities for countless generations. Neither plastic bags nor polystyrene foam are easily recyclable. We need to transition to reusable alternatives and New Jersey has shown us the first step."

With Environment America, you protect the places that all of us love and promote core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. We're a national network of 29 state environmental groups with members and supporters in every state. Together, we focus on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

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