Hoboken carry-out plastic bag, single-service styrofoam ban to take effect next month


The City of Hoboken’s ban on carry-out plastic bags and single-service styrofoam is set to take effect next month after a loophole in a single-use plastic bag ban was exploited for over a year.

Photo courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

An ordinance banning the use of all single service styrofoam products, as well all carry-out plastic bags from food service and retail establishments, is scheduled to take effect on March 8th.

The ordinance was originally proposed by Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the Hoboken Green Team, and was adopted by the city council in August of last year.

The Mile Square City’s single-use plastic bag ban went into effect on January 22nd after a similar process, but the local legislation was exploited by some businesses that decided to switch to “reusable” plastic bags.

Some of the particulars include retail and food establishments still making paper bags available to customers for a fee of 10-25 cents per bag.

All proceeds from the fee will continue to be collected by the retail or food establishment to offset the costs of the paper bags.

With that in mind, the following plastic bags are still allowed for free: produce bags, product bags (packaging), bags for frozen foods, meat, fish, flowers, plants, or baked goods, pharmacy prescription bags, newspaper bags, laundry or dry-cleaning bags, and packages of multiple bags, which includes pet waste bags.

As far as the styrofoam ban is concerned, all products made with expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly known as styrofoam, will no longer be permitted for sale at retail or food establishments in Hoboken as of March 8th.

Common products that include styrofoam such as cups, containers, lids, closures, trays, plates, utensils, napkins and more will no longer be permitted, while straws are not included in the new regulations.

The new regulations are a put of Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and exceed the goals of the Paris Agreement.

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