Start stocking up on reusable bags for your shopping, New Jersey. As of today, single-use plastic bags will officially be banned in the Garden State.

You won't be left bagless at the grocery store tomorrow, though, but the ban is coming, and you'll want to be prepared before it does.

We told you back in September about the fact that both the New Jersey State Senate and the New Jersey State Assembly passed their respective bills to ban single-use plastic bags, polystyrene take-out food containers, single use plastic straws, and even single use paper bags.

Following the passage of the bills, they just needed New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's signature, which they got today.

Again, though, it doesn't mean that plastic and paper bags will suddenly disappear tomorrow, in fact, the law doesn't take full effect until May of 2022, 18 months from now.

Single-use plastic straw restrictions will start sooner though, next November.

I say restrictions because it won't start as a full-on ban on single-use plastic straws, but starting in November 2021, food service businesses will only be allowed to give out plastic straws if a customer specifically requests one.

There will be some exceptions, including bags that wrap raw meat (as well as the polystyrene trays that wrapped meat commonly comes in), dry cleaning and newspaper bags, and bags that prescriptions come in.

The statewide law follows a few years' worth of patchwork local laws that have been multiplying in recent years.

You can read our previous coverage on the New Jersey plastic bag ban by clicking here, and you can read the full story of Governor Murphy signing the new law by clicking here for NJ.com.

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