Beach Haven Looking Into Plastic Bag Ban

Nov 15, 2017

If Beach Haven Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis has her way, Beach Haven will follow the Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners’ lead in adopting an ordinance prohibiting businesses in the municipality from distributing single-use plastic carryout bags. Instead, shoppers will have to bring their own reusable bags to stores in the township, or pay a fee for recycled paper bags. The recently adopted ordinance says, in part, that Long Beach Township “believes it has a duty to investigate and implement any and all necessary and proper steps the township can take to protect the environment and the public health, welfare and safety.”

Davis said plastic bags are especially harmful to marine animals and are one of the most common garbage items on beaches. She said that in marine environments, many animals confuse the plastic littering the oceans for food, including sea turtles. For sea turtles, the plastic blocks their digestive tract, leading to a slow death.

“Like the township, we are a shore community, and we have to do what we can to protect the environment,” she said. “In Hawaii and California, the plastic bag ban is statewide.”

Earlier this year, both municipalities adopted ordinances banning the release of helium-filled balloons, which, like plastic bags, can be ingested by marine creatures.

Davis said that prior to enacting the ordinance, the township reached out to numerous businesses and real estate companies, and received favorable responses.

“This would be an opportunity for Beach Haven Futures and the Beach Haven Chamber of Commerce, since they are in contact with many businesses,” she said. “This is something we should do, and hopefully we can adopt an ordinance next year.” —E.E.

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