As part of New Jersey’s commitment to reduce plastic pollution and remove litter, food-service businesses will only provide single-use plastic straws to customers when requested.
This restriction includes all restaurants, convenience stores, and fast-food businesses, each of which must also educate their employees and customers about the restriction.
The single-use plastic straw curtailment is the first step in a broader state law enacted in 2020. This law bans the sale or provision of single-use plastic carryout bags from stores and food-service businesses; single-use paper carryout bags from grocery stores larger than or equal to 2,500-square-feet; and use of polystyrene foam food-service products.
These additional provisions of the law take effect on May 4, 2022, and will override any established local laws at that time.
“When we move beyond single-use plastics, we can reduce our reliance on the fossil fuels that create plastic, remove a source of litter from our communities, and protect wild and marine life from the harm of ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic products,” DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette said in a prepared statement.
The Watershed’s River-Friendly Coordinator Olivia Spildooren said the straw restriction is a great first step forward in getting people to avoid plastic use.
“We want to keep plastics out of the water and do our part to encourage reusable items instead,” she said.