Beach Haven Taxpayers Group Giving Away Reusable Bags

Jul 25, 2018
Courtesy of: Beach Haven Taxpayers Association

To get borough residents accustomed to the eventual prohibition of distributing single-use plastic carryout bags from local businesses, the Beach Haven Taxpayers Association is offering reusable shopping bags free of charge. The items can be picked up at the New Jersey Maritime Museum at 528 Dock Rd. Deborah Whitcraft, museum founder/president and vice president of the taxpayers group, said the association recently purchased 1,000 of the reusable bags.

“They’re definitely in high demand,” said Whitcraft. “We’re doing this in support of the (borough) council’s plan to ban single-use plastic bags.”

The council introduced an ordinance prohibiting such bags at a meeting earlier in the month. The ordinance notes that plastic bags are especially harmful to marine animals and are one of the most common garbage items on beaches.

The ordinance says it is “unquestionably in the best interests of the health, safety and welfare of the residents and visitors to reduce the cost of waste disposal and protect the environment, wildlife and natural resources by reducing the distribution of single-use, plastic carry out bags and incentivizing the use of reusable bags at businesses.”

Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said that in marine environments, many animals, including sea turtles, confuse the plastic littering the oceans for food. For sea turtles, the plastic blocks their digestive tract, leading to a slow death.

“As a shore community, we have a moral obligation to do what we can to protect the environment,” she said.

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the next meeting, on Monday, Aug. 13, at 7 p.m.

“We’re going to give businesses plenty of time to prepare for this,” she said, noting the ordinance would not go into effect until next June 1.

For more information on obtaining the reusable bags, call the museum at 609-492-0202. —E.E.

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