Broaden the Ban

Feb 21, 2018

To the Editor:

It’s very commendable that Harvey Cedars has now followed the lead of Long Beach Township in banning single-use plastic bags. However, such a ban is virtually worthless and will only harm local Harvey Cedars businesses. For a ban of single-use plastic bags to be effective, it must be done on a county-wide ­– or better yet, state-wide – basis.

As a long-time vacationer and former full-time resident of Surf City who now resides in California, but who still returns to the Island every year for several weeks, I can assure you that banning single-use plastic bags creates no hardship if it is done on a large scale. Here in California we have had such a ban for several years now, and people adjust quickly to bringing reusable bags to carry home their purchases.

It is very little inconvenience to keep several bags, paper or reusable plastic, in your car and to take them with you when you go shopping. And should you forget, you can purchase either a paper or reusable plastic bag from the store for 10 cents. Both of those items can then be used over and over again.

The uproar from those opposed to such a ban is totally without merit. The benefit of not having plastic bags blowing around parking lots – or, in the case of LBI, on the beaches and ocean – is so worth the little effort and “inconvenience” of having to bring a reusable bag to the store with you.

I can’t begin to tell you how nice it is here in California to not see plastic bags blowing across streets or caught in branches of shrubs and trees or clogging sewer drains.

I would encourage all LBI residents to write their Ocean County or state representatives and urge them to enact such a ban. Doing it on a city or township level is a noble effort, but it must, must, be done on a larger scale to be effective.

John Leclercq

Rancho Cordova, Calif.


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