It’s on its way.

Earlier last year, it was announced that the use of plastic carryout bags will be prohibited at stores and foodservice businesses that occupy at least 2,500 square feet beginning May 4, 2022.

The law will ban single-use plastic and paper carryout bags, styrofoam containers, styrofoam cups of less than 2 ounces and styrofoam trays used with raw meat, fish and poultry.

As reported on New Jersey 101.5, Philadelphia’s ban has already begun. And the only question is when will ours start?

Supposedly, the ban has been put in place to protect the environment, economy, and our communities and I think the whole thing is going to be a nightmare.

While proponents of the law say single-use plastic bags are the most common form of waste in New Jersey, and appear much too often in our waterways, it’s going to be difficult to implement this program. After all, we know that cloth bags can generate even more bacteria than plastic bags. But of course, human beings seem to come second to wildlife in New Jersey.

While stores will not be able to sell plastic carryout bags starting in May, they can provide customers with reusable ones. This spread of reusable bags is being encouraged by the government, and they have set up guidelines that define what makes a bag “eco friendly.”

If it weren’t so annoying — and probably counterproductive — it would be fun to watch all the chaos that is about to ensue.



For a bag to be considered reusable it must be: made of polypropylene fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp product, or other washable fabric, have stitched handles, and are designed and manufactured for multiple reuses.

I’ve written about this before and I want to remind you of one thing that this law does not take into account. What will Instacart or Target’s Shipt or Walmart or any of the home delivery services do now? Bring you 20 cloth bags? Dump all the groceries-unbagged-on your porch, apples rolling in the wind? Use those “allowed” blue “Ikea-type” heavy vinyl bags that are ten times the price?

Once this rule goes into effect, many websites will feature resources as to where to purchase these approved bags. This will have us running like chickens with our heads cut off.

In addition to the ban of plastic bags, polystyrene foam foodservice products are going to dissipate well as single-use plastic straws, which will only be available by request.

If it weren’t so annoying — and probably counterproductive — it would be fun to watch all the chaos that is about to ensue.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

What to know about the spotted lanternfly & tree of heaven in NJ

How to identify the tree of heaven, one of the most likely places to find egg masses from the spotted lanternfly

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM