What Do You Need To Know?
Starting May 4, 2022, 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 2500 square feet, which may only provide or sell reusable carryout bags. After November 4, 2021, plastic straws may be provided only upon the request of the customer.
What Is A Reusable Carryout Bag?
Under the law (P.L.2020 c.117), a reusable carryout bag is defined as one that:
is made of polypropylene fabric, PET non-woven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp product, or other washable fabric, and
has stitched handles (either thread or ultrasonic), and
is designed and manufactured for at least 125 reuses.
Where Can A Business Purchase Products Allowed Under The Law?
Businesses may contact any distributor or manufacturer to obtain products that meet the requirements of the law. As a courtesy, the NJ Business Action Center’s website will soon feature an online clearinghouse of wholesale vendors who provide environmentally-sound alternative products. Please check business.nj.gov for updates.
What Polystyrene Foam Food Service Products Are Banned?
As of May 4, 2022, all polystyrene foam food service products are banned for use and sale. See side two for a list of exemptions. For more information, please see nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law/#foam_ products.
Exemptions To The Ban
See lists of exemptions below. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has the ability to determine additional exemptions pursuant to rule, regulation, or guidance. For more information, please see the DEP’s website at nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law.
Waivers For Polystyrene Foam Food Service Products
The DEP may, upon written application by a person or food service business, waive the provisions of the polystyrene foam food service product ban for the person or food service business for a period not to exceed one year, if:
there is no feasible and commercially available alternative for a specific polystyrene foam food service product; or
the person or food service business has less than $500,000 in gross annual income and there is no reasonably a!ordable, commercially-available alternative to the polystyrene foam food service product.
For further information on obtaining a waiver, please see the DEP’s website at NJ.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law/. The DEP may be contacted via email: or phone: +1(609)-984-4250.
Exemptions From Plastic And Paper Carryout Bag And Plastic Straw Bans:
Bags used to contain or wrap uncooked meat, fish or poultry.
Bags used to package loose items.
Bags used to contain live animals.
Bags used to contain food sliced or prepared to order, including soup and hot food.
Laundry, dry cleaning or garment bags.
Bags provided by a pharmacy to carry prescriptions.
Any similar bag, as determined by the Department (DEP) pursuant to rule, regulation, or guidance.
Packages of single-use plastic straws and those pre-packaged with items like juice boxes may still be sold in stores.
Who Enforces The Law?
The Department of Environmental Protection, municipalities, and any entity certified by the “County Environmental Health Act”. 1-877-WARN-DEP
Exemptions From The Ban On Polystyrene Foam Food Service Products (All Expire May 4, 2024):
Disposable, long-handled polystyrene foam soda spoons when required and used for thick drinks.
Portion cups of 2 oz. or less, if used for hot foods or foods requiring lids.
Meat and fish trays for raw or butchered meat, including poultry, or fish that is sold from a refrigerator or similar retail appliance.
Any food product pre-packaged by the manufacturer with a polystyrene foam food service product.
Any other polystyrene foam food service product as determined necessary by the DEP.
What Are The Penalties For Violating The Law?
Beginning May 4, 2022, any person or entity that violates the law shall be subject to:
a warning for a first offense.
up to $1,000 per day for the second offense
up to $5,000 per day for the third and subsequent violations.
violations of a continuing nature constitute an additional, separate, and distinct o!ense for each day that is deemed a violation.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson today announced that the Department is extending the COVID-19 Special Relief Measure for USDA’s Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan borrowers.
The USDA COVID-19 Special Relief Measure provides new alternatives for borrowers to help them achieve up to a 20 percent reduction in their monthly principal and interest payments. New options include an interest rate reduction, term extension and a mortgage recovery advance, which can help cover past due mortgage payments and related costs.
Borrowers will first be assessed for an interest rate reduction, and if additional relief is still needed, the borrowers will be considered for a combination rate reduction and term extension. In cases where a combination of rate reduction and term extension is not enough to achieve a 20 percent payment reduction, a third option combining the rate reduction and term extension with a mortgage recovery advance may be used to reach the
In addition, the Department of Treasury’s Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), a critical component of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, provides $9.961 billion to states, Washington, D.C., territories and Tribes for relief to homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis. These funds can be used for assistance with mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments and other specified purposes.
Homeowners can access these funds in addition to the payment reduction options discussed above.
For more information, see the White House Fact Sheet: Biden Administration Announces Additional Actions to Prevent Foreclosures. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced a one-month extension of the CDC Eviction Moratorium expiring on July 31, 2021. USDA recognizes the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an almost unprecedented housing affordability crisis in the United States. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provided billions of dollars to support distressed tenants and landlords and USDA continues to collaborate with federal partners to ensure Rural America receives ample relief. Provided below is information on several federal resources designed to help those facing rental hardship or eviction.
Even as the American economy continues its recovery from the devastating impact of the pandemic, millions of Americans face deep rental debt and fear evictions and the loss of basic housing security. To meet this need, the U.S. Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program makes funding available to assist households that are unable to pay rent or utilities. The funds are provided directly to grantees such as states, U.S. territories, local governments, and (in the case of the first round of funding) Indian tribes. Grantees use the funds to provide assistance to eligible households through existing or newly created rental assistance programs. To learn more about how to apply for emergency rental assistance in your state, please visit this link. Information in Spanish for renters can be found here, and information in Spanish for landlords can be found here.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) The Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program will provide 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) in order to assist individuals who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, or were recently homeless or have a high risk of housing instability. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, please visit this link. HUD and USDA have also partnered on developing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) fact sheet, which can be found here. Information in Spanish can be found here.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) CFPB provides additional resources to inform renters of potential options to help them stay in their homes. Please visitCFPB’s Renter Protections resource webpage for more information. Information in Spanish can be found here.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it is seeking applications for grants under the Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant program. The purpose of this program is to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include cooperatives, groups of cooperatives and cooperative development centers with a majority of its board of directors or governing board comprised of individuals who are members of socially disadvantaged groups. A socially-disadvantaged group is one whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group and without regard to their individual qualities.
This program supports Rural Development’s mission to improve the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to direct agency resources to those who most need them. Grant funds may used only for the benefit of socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas.
For FY 2021, USDA plans to award up to $3 million in grants. The maximum grant award is $175,000. Grants may be used to develop and operate a Rural Cooperative Development Center that could provide the following technical assistance and other services to rural socially-disadvantaged groups and businesses:
Conducting feasibility studies
Developing business plans
Providing leadership and operational improvement training
Completed applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Aug. 9, 2021. For additional information, see page 32882 of the June 23 Federal Register.
Questions about the application process may be directed to the Rural Development State Office where the applicant is located. For a list of offices, visit the RD state office website. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page. ### USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
New $10 Million Funding Phase Builds on Initial $14 Million thatis Supporting the Purchase of 1.5 Million Meals from 340+ Restaurants
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced that it will open applications for a new round of Sustain and Serve NJ funding next week. The NJEDA’s Sustain and Serve NJ program provides eligible entities with grants of between $100,000 to $2 million to support the purchase of meals from New Jersey-based restaurants that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The NJEDA will award up to $10 million in total funding through Phase 2 of the program. Applications will open June 28, 2021 and close July 18, 2021. The application will be available athttps://business.nj.gov/covid/eligibility-for-sustain-and-serve.
The funding for Phase 2 of Sustain and Serve NJ will be provided as part of a $235 million suite of COVID relief passed by the New Jersey Legislature this spring and signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy earlier this week to help small businesses affected by the pandemic.
Through the first phase of Sustain and Serve NJ grants announced in February, the NJEDA awarded more than $14 million to 28 organizations across the state, which will result in the purchase of more than 1.5 million meals from more than 340 participating restaurants.
“Restaurants are the heartbeat of local communities and their success is absolutely essential to our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The second phase of Sustain and Serve NJ will expand upon the enormous impact that the program has already had on restaurants in the Garden State. Thanks to action taken by Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature, this program will now be able to help even more restaurants keep their doors open and their employees paid as they recover from the economic and health impact of COVID-19.”
This latest phase of Sustain and Serve NJ will make up to $10 million in state funding available to for-profit and non-profit organizations in New Jersey. Eligible organizations will receive grants of between $100,000 and $2 million for bulk purchases of meals from New Jersey-based restaurants. The entities will then distribute the meals at no cost.
The NJEDA will hold an informational webinar on June 30, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. for potential applicants to learn tips and advice for applying. The webinar will also include a walk-through of the application. The webinar can be accessed here: http://www.tinyurl.com/SustainandServe2. A recording of the webinar will be available athttps://business.nj.gov/covid/eligibility-for-sustain-and-serve. The program is open to entities that are legally registered to do business in New Jersey and are in good standing with the NJDOL and the New Jersey Division of Taxation, including 501(c) non-profit organizations. Grant applicants will be required to demonstrate prior bulk purchases of 3,000 or more meals valued at $50,000 or more from New Jersey-based restaurants since March 9, 2020. Complete eligibility requirements can be found athttps://business.nj.gov/covid/eligibility-for-sustain-and-serve. Current grantees of the Sustain and Serve NJ program are eligible to apply for additional funds. While restaurants may not directly apply for Sustain and Serve NJ grants, those interested in providing meals through the program may opt to have their information posted publicly on the NJ COVID-19 Business Information Hub at https://forms.business.nj.gov/ssnj/restaurants/ or by completing the Sustain and Serve NJ Restaurant Interest Form available athttps://forms.business.nj.gov/ssnj/restaurants/interest/. Restaurants may also contact an entity with an established bulk meal purchasing and distribution program to discuss potential participation. A list of current Sustain and Serve NJ grantees can be found here. Potential grant applicants may choose to refer to this registry and contact restaurants about participating in the Sustain and Serve NJ program, though inclusion on the list is not an endorsement from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority as to eligibility for Sustain and Serve NJ.
About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness. To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit: https://www.njeda.com/ and follow @NewJerseyEDA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.