Borough of Collingswood, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Collingswood as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-7-2019 by Ord. No. 1669]
The following definitions shall apply to this article:
Items that are prepared and/or made to be sold, including, but not limited to, clothing, food and groceries, prepared foods, beverages, merchandise, books, jewelry, tobacco products, toys, furnishings, novelty items, and any and all other things and items sold at retail establishments or stores.
Any bag without handles that is used exclusively to segregate produce, meats, other food items, and merchandise to the point of sale inside a store or to prevent such items from coming into direct contact with other purchased items, where such contact could damage or contaminate other food or merchandise when placed together in a reusable or recycled bag.
A paper bag that meets all of the following requirements:
Contains no old-growth fiber;
Is 100% recyclable overall and contains a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled material;
Is capable of composting, consistent with the timeline and specifications of American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard 06400;
Is accepted for recycling in curbside programs in the Borough;
Has printed on the bag the name of the manufacturer, the location where the bag was manufactured, and the percentage of post-consumer recycled material used; and
Displays the word "recyclable" in a visible manner on the outside of the bag.
The sale of goods and products for use and/or consumption.
Any commercial enterprise, whether or not operated for profit, including, but not limited to, mercantile establishments, department stores, food-service establishments, restaurants, pharmacies, convenience and grocery stores, supermarkets, clothing stores, seasonal and temporary businesses, special event vendors, farmers' market vendors, jewelry stores, and stores which sell household goods, or any other commercial establishment not specifically identified herein, which may utilize single-use plastic bags for the conveyance of merchandise by its customers in the Borough of Collingswood.
A bag that is designed and manufactured to withstand repeated uses over a period of time, is machine washable or made from a material that can be cleaned and disinfected regularly, is at least 2.25 mil thick if made from plastic, has a minimum lifetime of 75 uses, and is capable of carrying a minimum of 18 pounds.
A bag, sheet or receptacle produced or manufactured from a material commonly known as "plastic" or "polyethylene" provided at the check-out stand, cash register, point of sale, or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting goods or products out of the establishment. The term "single-use, plastic carryout bag does" not include reusable bags or garment bags (see other exemptions under "Exemptions" section[1]).
Editor's Note: See § 157-3, Exemptions.
No retail establishments or retail stores shall provide or offer to any customer single-use, plastic carryout bags at the check stand, cash register, or point of sale, as otherwise provided in this article. This prohibition shall become effective on April 15, 2020. Until such time, beginning on October 15, 2019, retail establishments and retail stores shall be encouraged to implement the provisions of this article on a voluntary basis. The owners and operators of such establishments and stores will be solicited and notified by representatives of the Borough in cooperation with Sustainable Collingswood ("Collingswood Green Team") of the requirements of this article. The Borough shall track progress and coordinate with the Green Team to provide retail establishments and retail stores with technical assistance and advise of best practices to implement alternatives to plastic bags.
The following exemptions shall apply to the requirements of this article:
Produce or product bags provided by operators and used by consumers inside retail establishments to:
Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish, whether packaged or not;
Contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness may be an issue;
Contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods;
Contain unpackaged bulk produce such as fruit, vegetables, herbs or flavors; or
Contain refrigerated butchered meat and fish;
Bag used to protect a purchased item from damaging or contaminating other purchased items when placed in a recycled paper bag or reusable grocery bag;
A bag other than a single-use plastic bag at point of sale as defined in the definitions section of this article that is designed specifically for food and customer safety (prepared foods for delivery or off-premises consumption).
Newspaper bags, door-hanger bags, laundry and/or dry-cleaning bags, bags provided by a pharmacy to a customer purchasing a prescription medication, or bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as food storage bags, garbage bags, yard waste bags, or pet waste bags.
Retail establishments and retail stores shall also satisfy the requirements of this article by providing the following alternatives to single-use plastic carryout bags to their customers.
Alternative carryout bags.
All retail establishments and retail stores may provide customers with reusable bags and/or recyclable paper bags as defined in this article as an alternative to single-use plastic carryout bags. Retail establishments are required to charge a minimum fee of $0.10 to customers for reusable bags or recyclable paper carryout bags that meet the requirements in this article.
A retail establishment or retail store may choose, in its discretion, to provide a credit to customers that choose to bring their own bags.
A retail establishment or retail store may sell reusable bags for an amount determined by the retail establishment or retail store.
Each retail establishment and retail store is strongly encouraged to educate its staff to promote the use of reusable bags, and to post signs encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags.
Violations of the provisions of this article shall be subject to the following requirements and penalties:
A duly designated representative of the Borough of Collingswood shall have the responsibility for enforcement of this article and may, if considered to be necessary in the implementation of this article, promulgate reasonable rules and regulations in order to enforce the provisions thereof, including, but not limited to, investigating violations and imposing penalties.
Any retail establishment or retail store that violates or fails to comply with any of the requirements of this article after an initial written warning notice has been issued for that violation shall be liable for infraction violation.
If a retail establishment or store has subsequent violations of this article after the issuance of an initial written warning of a violation, the following penalties will be imposed and shall be payable by the operator of the retail establishment or store:
A fine not exceeding $150 for the first violation after a written warning; and
A fine not exceeding $250 for the second violation after the written warning; and
A fine not exceeding $500 for the third and any subsequent violations after the written warning.
Any retail establishment or retail store may apply in writing to the Borough's designated representative for a temporary exemption from the requirements of this article, due to demonstrated hardship in implementing this article within the time period set forth herein.
Exemption decisions are effective upon Borough approval, shall be considered to be final, and they are not appealable except as otherwise provided for by law. The Borough's designated representative may also impose conditions upon approval of any temporary exemption request.
A fee of $50 shall be required for all exemption requests.
Temporary exemptions may be granted for a period not to exceed six months.
Nothing in this article is intended to create any requirement, power or duty that is in conflict with any federal or state law.
The provisions of this article are declared to be 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 competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, subsections, sentences, clauses and phrases of this article, but shall remain in effect; it being the legislative intent that this article shall stand notwithstanding the invalidity of any part.