How will restaurants do takeout after May 4 bag, Styrofoam ban?
New Jersey’s toughest-in-the-nation bag and Styrofoam container ban will take effect on Wednesday, but restaurants in the Garden State will still have the ability to pack up the food that you want to take home.
Amanda Stone, the government affairs director for the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, said food packed in plastic bags will no longer be allowed but “you’ll be able to take home anything you don’t eat there, it will just be maybe in a different way than you might have received it before.”
No more Styrofoam
Paper bags, even though they are banned at stores, and containers made of recyclable material are permitted at restaurants.
“You won’t get the plastic bag you’re used to, but restaurants have been preparing for this so they should be ready,” Stone said.
She pointed out that sturdy cardboard-type food containers have been around for years.
“Some restaurants, even before this law was in place, were using some items that were recyclable, or had a higher recyclable content than was required for them," she said.
Depending on where you eat, several different types of food containers may be used that do not contain Styrofoam.
“Restaurants have their own vendors who they are going to use, and what products they’re going to use, so it’s not just one uniform, this is what you’re going to see in every restaurant,” she said.
“Companies have been making these products for years and New Jersey certainly isn’t the first to have this type of ban in place.”
No problem for diners
Stone said the plastic bag and Styrofoam ban should not cause any problems for people going out to eat.
“Enjoy the meal, have a good time, if you have leftovers you’re going to take them home, the restaurant will provide you with whatever you need,” she said.
New Jersey’s new law specifies that starting Wednesday plastic bags and Styrofoam products, including plates, cups and containers will not be permitted.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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