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Plastic Bags
Highland Park's Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance (Ordinance #19-1980)

The Borough of Highland Park Council passed Ordinance No. 19-1980, "Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance," on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. The ordinance will go into effect in two phases.

Phase I: Wednesday, May 1, 2019

  • Shoppers will be charged a $0.10 fee per plastic bag they use
  • Retailers may choose to provide a compliant paper bag at no charge

Phase II: Friday, November 1, 2019
  • Shoppers will be charged a $0.10 fee per compliant paper bag they use
  • Retailers shall no longer offer plastic carry out bags to customers

What Merchants Need to Know

Establishments with at least 1,000 square feet of retail space are required to follow the rules outlined below.  Merchants with smaller retail spaces are still highly encouraged to participate in eliminating single-use plastic bags in the Borough by purchasing compliant paper bags and encouraging shoppers to bring their own bags.

Phase I: Fee on Single-use Plastic Bags
  • Goes into effect May 1, 2019 - 60 days after the ordinance became effective.
  • Merchant is required to charge a $0.10 fee on all single-use plastic bags.
  • Fee must be itemized on receipts.
  • Merchant will keep the fees they collect to cover costs incurred by this program.
  • Merchant may offer compliant paper bags at no cost to the customers during Phase One.
  • Compliant paper bags must be 100% recyclable.

Phase II: Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags and Fee on Compliant Paper Bags
  • Goes into effect on November 1, 2019 - six months after Phase One.
  • Merchants are banned from distributing single-use plastic bags, including restaurants with take-out delivery items.
  • Merchants may offer compliant paper bags but must charge a $0.10 fee per bag and continue to itemize the fee on receipts.

Customers who are recipients of local, county or federal welfare assistance are exempt from paying any fee on bags offered at the point of sale.

Exempt uses of single-use plastic bags include those used to contain meat, fish, bulk produce, bakery goods and unwrapped prepared foods.  The use of plastic bags to protect newspapers and laundry and/or dry cleaning are also permissible.

The Borough will assist retail establishments in implementing this ordinance with minimal disruption of business and provide alternative supplier recommendations of compliant and reusable bags.

The Borough will provide retailers with a flyer to display for customers explaining why they are being charged for plastic carry-out bags.  We have also come up with a list of customer FAQ's your cashiers may receive and recommended answers to those questions.

Suppliers of Compliant Paper Checkout Bags

Suppliers on this list sell compliant paper checkout bags that meet requirements set by Highland Park's Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance.  You are NOT required to use one of these vendors but must ensure any compliant paper checkout bags you supply are 100% recyclable.

Berlin Packaging - 2 Capital Drive - Cranbury, NJ 08512
Contact Person: Heather Pittman - (800) 363-9822

Bunzl Northeast Market - 27 Distribution Way - Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
Contact Person: Michael Pietrafesa - (732) 672-3443

Prime Line Packaging - 4041 Hadley Road, Unit Q - South Plainfield, NJ 07080
Contact Person: Laura Levine - (732) 533-4321

Valley Distributors, Inc
. - 3 F Joanna Court - East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Contact Person: Barry Schwartzstein - (908) 208-1212

You can also approach your current bag supplier and ask them if they also sell paper bags that are 100% recyclable.

This list of suppliers does not imply the Borough of Highland Park endorses these suppliers, nor the quality of their products.  This list is provided as a courtesy, for informational purposes only, and may not be a complete list of suppliers.  It is the responsibility of stores subject to the ordinance to verify the qualifications and compliance of each type of bag prior to purchase from the supplier.  The Borough of Highland Park is not responsible for any expenses that may be associated with using this list.

221 S. Fifth Avenue
Highland Park, NJ 08904
Ph: (732) 572-3400