New Jersey’s toughest-in-the-nation bag and Styrofoam container ban will take effect on Wednesday, but restaurants in the Garden State will still have the ability to pack up the food that you want to take home.

Amanda Stone, the government affairs director for the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, said food packed in plastic bags will no longer be allowed but “you’ll be able to take home anything you don’t eat there, it will just be maybe in a different way than you might have received it before.”

No more Styrofoam

Paper bags, even though they are banned at stores, and containers made of recyclable material are permitted at restaurants.

I'll drink to that!

“You won’t get the plastic bag you’re used to, but restaurants have been preparing for this so they should be ready,” Stone said.

She pointed out that sturdy cardboard-type food containers have been around for years.

“Some restaurants, even before this law was in place, were using some items that were recyclable, or had a higher recyclable content than was required for them," she said.

Depending on where you eat, several different types of food containers may be used that do not contain Styrofoam.

“Restaurants have their own vendors who they are going to use, and what products they’re going to use, so it’s not just one uniform, this is what you’re going to see in every restaurant,” she said.

“Companies have been making these products for years and New Jersey certainly isn’t the first to have this type of ban in place.”

No problem for diners

Stone said the plastic bag and Styrofoam ban should not cause any problems for people going out to eat.

“Enjoy the meal, have a good time, if you have leftovers you’re going to take them home, the restaurant will provide you with whatever you need,” she said.

New Jersey’s new law specifies that starting Wednesday plastic bags and Styrofoam products, including plates, cups and containers will not be permitted.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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