Stop & Shop giving away free reusable bags ahead of NJ plastic ban

WESTBURY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Stop & Shop stores in New Jersey are giving away free reusable bags Monday and Tuesday ahead of the state's ban on single-use plastic bags, which takes effect Wednesday.

Stop & Shop says it is providing the free reusable bags to customers to make the transition as easy as possible for them.

The free reusable bags are limited to one bag per customer, while supplies last.

Starting May 4, New Jersey retail stores, grocery stores and food service businesses may not provide or sell single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products.

Single-use paper carryout bags are allowed to be provided or sold, except by grocery stores equal to or larger than 2,500 square feet, which may only provide or sell reusable carryout bags.

On November 4, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature enacted the most progressive bag ban law in the country.

"This smart, uniform statewide law preempts all local ordinances," said New Jersey Food Council CEO Linda Doherty, who is also president of the New Jersey Clean Communities Council.

There is a warning for a first offense, up to $1,000 for a second offense, and up to $5,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

Penalties for violations will be deposited in the Clean Communities Program Fund, except that a municipality may retain 30 percent of any penalty it collects.

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