Unanimous Support

Dec 06, 2017

To the Editor:

I read the “entertaining” letter by Joseph Orrico of Surf City (“Bag Ban Reeks,” 11/22). Actually, I read it several times as it made little sense to me.

From what I could gather, he is not happy that Long Beach Township has taken a leadership role in protecting our environment from plastic pollution and trying to encourage the population to become better stewards and smarter shoppers.

He also seems mad that a local government in a town near the one he resides in has recognized the ever-present sight of plastic bags stuck in trees, in storm drains, floating in the bay and along the shorelines and the detriment to the environment this poses.

It is scientifically noted (via Scientific Action and Advocacy Network, ScAAN.net) that plastic bags reach the ocean via wind, inland waterways and coastal waste or sewage, and that a single plastic bag will continue to impact the environment for centuries.

The idea of using a single-use anything, whether it be a bag or a bottle, sometimes for less than a minute but on average 12 minutes, from material that has taken centuries to create, is wasteful and unnecessary. Too often these items find their way into our waterways. Every bit of plastic produced on the planet still exists in some form as it does not decay or erode, dissolve or decay. A single plastic pellet can absorb chemical pollutants up to 1 million times the concentration found in seawater (ScAAN.net).

A simple choice at check-out can make a big difference. The old question of “paper or plastic?” is a trick question. The answer is neither; use a reusable bag. Wash your bags as you would wash your clothes and bacteria will not appear. There are 3 R’s in the familiar sequence, and they are in that order for a reason. Reduce your consumption, Reuse what you can and Recycle the rest. The ban is a great first step in a cultural change in our community, and change takes time but is healthy.

Another problem every town in Ocean County tangles with is plastic bags wrapping around the equipment at the recycling center. The machinery has to be stopped and the bags need to manually be cut off of the screens, every day. That wastes time and costs money. Recyclables should not be in plastic bags, and plastic bags should not be in recyclables. 

The public meeting held on the single-use plastic carry-out ban in Long Beach Township had unanimous support for the effort. The ban will be phased in through partnerships between government leaders, local businesses, Realtors, renters and residents.

I want to thank Mr. Orrico for suggesting the tyrannically authoritarian idea of inspecting vehicles for plastic bags as they come over the bridge. That is  one of the more nonsensical statements put forth in the letter.

I would advise Mr. Orrico to read the words of the ordinance passed by Long Beach Township, or any other of the “phony ‘Save the World’ mentality”-based  towns, states or counties around the world that have instituted similar bans so he can better understand what we are collectively trying to do, how we are trying to do it and why we are doing it.

Angela Andersen

North Beach Haven



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