CFBNJ’s Reusable Bag Initiative

The Single Use Plastic Bag Ban goes into effect on Wednesday, May 4th. Although Food Pantry programs have a 6-month extension (until November 4th) for the use of plastic bags, we are planning ahead and need your help to do so.

How It Works

Our retail partners will encourage their online shoppers to drop off reusable bags to their nearest partner agency. Participating retailers will then receive your agency’s address (be it a brick-and-mortar site or community distribution location) and time slots to for their shoppers to donate the reusable bags. ​​​​To participate in this program, your organization must be in good standing, active and have updated hours of operation, especially noting when someone is on-site to receive bag donations.

Together we can partner and provide help and hope for our planet.

Please fill out this form if you are interested in the Reusable Bag Initiative. We need to have some of your information to match you with our retail partners. If you have any questions, please contact your Network Engagement Specialist using the form on this page or call us at 908-355-3663.

How to Sanitize Reusable Bags:

In order to provide the best experience to the community, it’s advisable to clean bags before use. Ways to clean for specific materials:

  • Woven or nonwoven polypropylene bags: Machine wash on a gentle cycle with soap (not detergent!) and cold water. Or, you can hand wash in your kitchen or bathroom sink with soap and water. Skip the dryer — instead, hang or line dry.
  • Nylon or polyester: Hand wash in warm water with soap (not detergent!). Turn the bag inside out and line dry.
  • Bamboo or hemp bags: Launder on a gentle cycle with mild detergent or soap. (Or hand wash.) Machine or hang dry.
  • Cotton bags: Launder with hot water and your normal, go-to detergent. (Or hand wash.) Machine or hang dry.
  • Insulated bags: Hand wash with soap and warm water (don’t forget the inner and outer seams). Wipe with disinfecting wipes. Hang dry.

You can also use disinfecting wipes or sprays to clean bags. You can normally determine the material of the bag by some form of manufacturer tag.

If you’d like to give people information on how to clean reusable bags, you can find a PDF with instructions here.