ASSEMBLY, No. 3671

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED APRIL 14, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  L. GRACE SPENCER

District 29 (Essex)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  TIM EUSTACE

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Muoio

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes incremental fee, and ban beginning in 2025, on use of non-compostable plastic bags by certain stores. 

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the use of non-compostable plastic bags in stores and supplementing Titles 13 and 54 of the Revised Statutes. 

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  (1)  Beginning June 1, 2017, each operator shall impose a $0.05 fee on the customer for each non-compostable plastic bag that is provided as a carryout bag to the customer. 

     (2)   Beginning June 1, 2019, each operator shall impose a $0.10 fee on the customer for each non-compostable plastic bag that is provided as a carryout bag to the customer. 

     (3)   Beginning June 1, 2021 and ending December 31, 2024, each operator shall impose a $0.15 fee on the customer for each non-compostable plastic bag that is provided as a carryout bag to the customer.   

     b.    Each operator shall indicate the total number of non-compostable plastic bags provided to a customer, and the total fee charged pursuant to subsection a. of this section, on the sales or other receipt given to the customer.

     c.     Each operator shall remit all fees collected pursuant to subsection a. of this section to the director in a manner prescribed by the director.  Each operator shall be personally liable for the fees imposed, collected, or required to be collected.  Any operator shall have the same right in respect to collecting the fee from a customer as if the fee were a part of the sales price of the product sold and payable at the same time. 

     d.    The director may use up to one percent of the revenues collected pursuant to subsection c. of this section to defray the costs of administration and collection of the fees.  The director shall deposit the remainder of the revenues into the “Healthy Schools and Community Lead Abatement Fund” established pursuant to section 3 of P.L.      , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

     e.     The fee imposed pursuant to this section shall be governed by the provisions of the State Uniform Tax Procedure Law, R.S.54:48-1 et seq.

     f.     The director shall adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this act.

     g.    As used in this section:  

     “Carryout bag” means a bag provided by a store at the point of sale for customers to carry their goods out of the store.

     “Chain” means a business with 20 or more locations nationally and doing business under the same trade name or under common ownership or control, or as franchised outlets of a parent business.  

     “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.

     “Director” means the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury.

     “Non-compostable plastic bag” means a plastic bag that does not meet the definition of compostable plastic bag. 

     “Operator” means a person in control of, or having responsibility for, the daily operation of a store, which may include, but need not be limited to, the owner of the store.

     “Store” means a drug store, supermarket, or retail establishment that has over 2,000 square feet of retail space or is part of a chain, and that provides carryout bags to its customers as a result of the sale of a product.

 

     2.    a.  Beginning January 1, 2025, each operator of a store shall:

     (1)   discontinue providing non-compostable plastic bags as carryout bags to customers; and

     (2)   provide as carryout bags to customers recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags, or reusable bags.

     b.    A person who violates this section shall be liable to a civil penalty of up to $250 for a first offense, up to $500 for a second offense, and up to $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense, to be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).  If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.  The municipal court and the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999.”  All penalties collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the “Healthy Schools and Community Lead Abatement Fund” established pursuant to section 3 of P.L.      , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). 

     c.     As used in this section:

     “Carryout bag” means a bag provided by a store at the point of sale for customers to carry their goods out of the store.

     “Chain” means a business with 20 or more locations nationally and doing business under the same trade name or under common ownership or control, or as franchised outlets of a parent business. 

     “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.

     “Non-compostable plastic bag” means a plastic bag that does not meet the definition of compostable plastic bag and that is not a reusable bag.

     “Operator” means a person in control of, or having responsibility for, the daily operation of a store, which may include, but need not be limited to, the owner of the store.

     “Recyclable paper bag” means a paper bag that contains no old growth fiber, is 100 percent recyclable overall, and contains a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content, and displays the words “reusable” and “recyclable” on the bag.

     “Reusable bag” means a bag made of cloth or other machine washable fabric that has handles, or a durable plastic bag that has handles and 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 2,000 square feet of retail space or is part of a chain, and that provides carryout bags to its customers as a result of the sale of a product.

 

     3.    a.  There is established in the Department of Environmental Protection a nonlapsing fund to be known as the “Healthy Schools and Community Lead Abatement Fund.”  

     b.    The fund shall be credited with:

     (1)   the fees collected by the director pursuant to section 1 of P.L.       , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);

     (2)   the penalties collected pursuant to subsection b. of section 2 of P.L.      , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);

     (3)   all interest or other investment income earned and received on investment of the moneys in the fund; and

     (4)   any other monies that may be made available, or appropriated, to the department for the purposes of the fund. 

     c.     Moneys in the fund shall be used by the department, in consultation with the Department of Education, the Department of Community Affairs, and the Department of Health, solely for lead abatement in schools and communities, including: removal and replacement of water fountains, plumbing, and pipes that contain lead; stripping lead paint from schools and residential dwellings; and other lead abatement programs, as established by the department in consultation with the Department of Education, the Department of Community Affairs, and the Department of Health.

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would establish an incremental fee, and a ban beginning in 2025, on the use of non-compostable plastic bags in certain stores.

     Specifically, the bill would require stores to impose a $0.05 fee on the customer for each non-compostable plastic bag that is provided as a carryout bag to the customer beginning June 1, 2017; a $0.10 fee for each bag beginning June 1, 2019; and a $0.15 fee for each bag beginning June 1, 2021.  Stores would remit the fees to the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury.  The director would deposit the revenues collected pursuant to the bill into the “Healthy Schools and Community Lead Abatement Fund” established in the bill.  A “store” is defined in the bill as a drug store, supermarket, or retail establishment that has over 2,000 square feet of retail space or is part of a chain, and that provides carryout bags to its customers as a result of the sale of a product.  

     Under the bill, beginning January 1, 2025, stores could no longer offer non-compostable plastic bags as carryout bags to customers.  Stores would, instead, be required to provide recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags, or reusable bags as carryout bags to customers.  The fee imposed on non-compostable plastic bags would also expire January 1, 2025.  A person who violates this provision would be liable to a civil penalty of up to $250 for a first offense, up to $500 for a second offense, and up to $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense.  If a violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues would constitute a separate offense.  All penalties collected pursuant to the bill would be deposited into the “Healthy Schools and Community Lead Abatement Fund.” 

     Finally, the bill would establish the “Healthy Schools and Community Lead Abatement Fund” in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Moneys in the fund would be used by the DEP, in consultation with the Department of Education, the Department of Community Affairs, and the Department of Health, for lead abatement in schools and communities, including: removal and replacement of water fountains, plumbing, and pipes that contain lead; stripping lead paint from schools and residential dwellings; and other lead abatement programs.