[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Secaucus 8-27-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-31. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: Former Chapter 150, Longevity Pay, Health Employees, previously codified herein and containing portions of Ordinance 4-1-68, was repealed in its entirety 4-17-95 by Board of Health Ord. 95-01.
It is hereby determined and declared to be the public policy of the Town of Secaucus to address a significant global problem relating to the production and use of single-use plastic carry-out bags and the adverse effects emanating directly therefrom. The intent of this chapter is to reduce the use of single-use plastic carry-out bags and to promote the use of reusable carry-out bags in order to reduce litter, to reduce harm to humans, wildlife and the environment, to protect our parks and coastal waterways and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CARRY-OUT BAG
- A bag that is:
- A. Provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale to carry food items, goods or other products purchased from such store; or
- B. Provided by a street vendor to a customer at the point of sale to carry food items or goods/products purchased from a store. Such term shall not include reusable carry-out bags or exempt bags.
- A. Bags without handles to carry produce, meats, dry goods or other non-prepackaged food items to the point of sale within a covered store to prevent such food items from coming into direct contact with and/or intended to stop cross-contamination with other purchased items;
- B. Laundry or dry-cleaning bags;
- C. Newspaper bags;
- D. Bags sold in packages intended for garbage, pet waste or yard waste; and
- E. Bags provided by pharmacists or pharmacies to carry prescription drugs.
- A person in control of, or having responsibility for, the daily operation of a covered store, which may include, but need not be limited to, the owner of the covered store.
- REUSABLE CARRY-OUT BAG
- A durable bag that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is either:
- SINGLE-USE PAPER CARRY-OUT BAG
- Single-use carry-out bag that is made of paper.
- SINGLE-USE PLASTIC CARRY-OUT BAG
- any carry-out bags less than 10 mil thick made of plastic, as well as any bags made predominantly of plastic derived from either petroleum or a biologically based source, such as corn or other plant sources, that is provided by an operator of a retail establishment to a customer at the point of sale. The term includes compostable and biodegradable bags. It does not include:
- A. A food service establishment;
- B. Retail, wholesale or service establishment engaged in either the sale of personal, consumer or household items or the provision of services, including, but not limited to, drug stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience food stores, food marts, hardware stores, liquor stores, clothing stores, jewelry stores or other retail establishments of any kind or service establishments of any kind, including, but not limited to, beauty salons, etc., that provide carry-out bags to consumers in which to place items purchased or obtained at such establishment; and
- C. Street vendors.
- The Town of Secaucus, County of Hudson, New Jersey.
- TOWN MANAGER
- The Town Administrator, Environmental Director or their designee(s), authorized to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
Effective February 1, 2020, no operator of any store within the Town of Secaucus shall provide any single-use plastic carry-out bag to any customer. Nothing in this section shall be read to preclude operators of stores or from providing single-use paper carry-out bags to customers for a fee in accordance with the subsection below or from making reusable carry-out bags available for sale to customers. No operator shall preclude customers from using their own reusable carry-out bags.
Items or goods required to be sold, packaged or delivered in compliance with state and federal food safety and disposal laws are exempt from the provisions of this section.
Effective February 1, 2020, an operator of a store may provide a customer with a single-use paper carry-out bag or reusable carry-out bag, provided that the operator shall impose and collect a minimum fee of $0.10 for each single-use paper carry-out bag. No store shall be required to charge such fee for an exempt bag. All monies collected under this section shall be retained by the covered store.
All paper carry-out bags must be 100% recyclable and include a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content.
Each operator shall indicate on the sales or other receipt given to the customer the total number of single-use paper carry-out bags provided to the customer, and the total fee charged to the customer pursuant.
No covered store shall charge a carry-out bag fee for bags of any kind provided by the customer in lieu of a carry-out bag provided by any such covered store.
No covered store shall charge or prevent a person from using a bag of any kind that they have brought to any such covered store for purposes of carrying food items, goods or other products from such store.
The Town Manager or their designee shall establish an outreach and education program aimed at educating residents, covered stores and the public on reducing the use of single-use plastic carry-out bags and increasing the use of reusable carry-out bags.
To the extent practicable, the Town Manager or their designee shall seek the assistance of private entities and local not-for-profit organizations to provide and distribute reusable carry-out bags to residents and to covered stores.
Any notice of violation issued pursuant to this chapter shall be returnable in the Secaucus Municipal Court, which shall have the power to impose penalties as provided herein.
The Town Manager shall designate appropriate departments and/or staff to enforce this chapter, including but not limited to the Secaucus Police Department, Environmental Department, Department of Public Works and the Code Enforcement Department.
Any person who is convicted of a violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be liable to the following penalties: for the first offense, there shall be a minimum fine of $100; for the second offense, there shall be a minimum fine of $250; and for the third and each subsequent offense, there shall be a minimum fine of $500.
The provision of this chapter are declared severable and if any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase thereof for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of law, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, subsection, sentences, clauses and phrases of this chapter, but shall remain in effect; it being the legislative intent that this chapter shall stand notwithstanding the validity of any part thereof.