POINT PLEASANT BEACH – Point Pleasant Beach is joining other local shore towns in the initiative to improve the environment through eliminating single-use plastic bags in town. At a recent council meeting, the township council proposed an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags, an initiative that the council and environmental commission have been working on for some time.
“Eliminating plastic bags will make Point Pleasant Beach a better town,” said Mayor Stephen Reid. “With three lakes, the inlet and ocean, plastic bags in our water ways cause a hazard to the birds, marine life and pets making their homes here.”
Point Pleasant Beach is joining Stafford Township by introducing this ban. Back in February, Jersey Shore Online reported that Stafford introduced an ordinance to ban single use plastic bags within the township. The ban faced some opposition from residents, however Mayor John Spodofora and council noted that the ordinance would not be voted on until sometime around June, after the council has plenty of time to research the issue and connect with local businesses.
Long Beach Township has already adopted an ordinance to ban the plastic bags. Other Long Beach Island towns have been looking at the initiative as well.
Just as Stafford did, Point Pleasant Beach plans to provide certain exceptions to the ban as part of the proposed ordinance, including:
- Plastic bags used for bait
Bags used to store produce, meats, deli foods and flowers
- Bags used by pet stores for live fish
- Dry cleaner and door hangar bags
- Bags sold in packages, such as garbage liners and pet-waste bags.
Also, food-assistance programs will be exempt and permitted to use plastic bags to carry food items and meals.
The council remarked that local businesses would not have to immediately eliminate plastic bags; they should use up their inventory of plastic bags until they run out before they are in violation.
To supplement the impending loss of single use plastic bags, Point Pleasant Beach has purchased 1,000 reusable canvas bags which will be made available to residents.
“We are going to be able to accomplish this without taxing any of our residents and businesses,” said Mayor Reid. “We have used the same language from the Long Beach ordinances and have worked closely with the Chamber and business owners as well as receiving great input from environmental groups throughout the state in coming to the conclusions we have. The time is right to encourage our businesses and residents to use recycled bags.”