Plastic Bag Ban Urged In Berkeley

Photo by Micromedia Publications

BERKELEY – As several New Jersey towns ban most single-use plastic bags, a resident approached the Berkeley Township Council asking for a ban in this town as well.

Colleen McGurk told the governing body about the dangers plastic bags pose to the environment and asked if the council would consider a ban.

Council President James Byrnes said he would have the township attorney look at it for a future meeting.

William McGrath, speaking on behalf of the Waterways Advisory Committee, a volunteer group that addresses issues important to boaters and waterfront homeowners, said that they had tried to get a grant for 10,000 re-usable bags. They had planned to give them out at ShopRite to educate people about the environmental impact of the bags. Their group was hoping to have people choose not to use plastic bags, rather than force them to by law.

During the same meeting, the council passed an ordinance that prohibits the intentional release of balloons, due to the environmental impact they have.

A new bill, A-3267/S-2600, proposing a 5 cent tax on single use plastic and paper bags was passed by the legislature on June 21 and is awaiting approval by Governor Phil Murphy.