Assemblyman JOHN F. MCKEON
District 27 (Essex and Morris)
Provides for decrease and eventual ban on use of non-compostable plastic grocery bags.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning plastic grocery bags, and supplementing Title 13 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. As used in this act:
"Carryout bag" means a bag provided by a store at the point of sale for customers to carry their goods out of the store.
"Compostable plastic bag" means a plastic carryout bag that meets the current American Society for Testing and Materials International standard (ASTM) D6400 for compostable plastic, as that standard may be amended from time to time.
“Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection.
"Operator" means a person in control of, or having daily responsibility for, the daily operation of a store, which may include, but is not limited to, the owner of the store.
"Plastic carryout bag" means a plastic carryout bag provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale.
"Recyclable paper bag" means a paper bag that meets all the following requirements: (1) the bag contains no old growth fiber; (2) the bag is 100% recyclable overall and contains a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content; and (3) the bag displays the words "reusable" and "recyclable".
"Reusable bag" means: (1) a bag made of cloth or other machine washable fabric that has handles; or (2) a durable plastic bag with handles that is at least 2.25 mils thick and is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse.
"Store" means a drug store, supermarket or retail establishment that has over 1,000 square feet of retail space and that provides plastic carryout bags to its customers as a result of the sale of a product.
2. Beginning November 30, 2014, every operator of a store shall restrict the use of non-compostable plastic bags by 50% of the current volume and by December 31, 2016, all non-compostable plastic bags shall be banned from use in this State.
3. Every operator of a store shall submit a report documenting the reduction in usage of non-compostable plastic bags to the department on or before November 30, 2014.
4. Beginning January 1, 2017, every operator of a store shall provide as carryout bags to customers a recyclable paper bag, a compostable bag, or a reusable bag.
5. a. Any person who violates the provisions of this act shall be subject to a penalty of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 for each offense, to be collected in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.), or in any case before a court of competent jurisdiction wherein injunctive relief has been requested. The Superior Court and the municipal court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999" in connection with this act.
If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues constitutes an additional, separate, and distinct offense.
b. The department may institute a civil action for injunctive relief to enforce this act and to prohibit and prevent a violation of this act, and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner.
6. The department shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B‑1 et seq.), rules and regulations as are necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.
7. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill provides for the decrease and eventual ban on use of non-compostable plastic grocery bags at retail stores. Specifically, by November 30, 2014, every operator of a retail store must restrict the use of non-compostable plastic bags by 50% of the current volume and by December 31, 2016, all non-compostable plastic bags would be banned from use in this State.
Every operator of a retail store must submit a report documenting the reduction in usage of non-compostable plastic bags to the Department of Environmental Protection on or before November 30, 2014.
After January 1, 2017, every operator of a retail store must provide as carryout bags to customers either a recyclable paper bag, a compostable bag, or a reusable bag.