An Atlantic County municipality has received recognition for an ordinance that requires payment for single-use bags, a first in New Jersey.
Longport received the Creativity and Innovation Award at the Sustainable Jersey recognition luncheon held yesterday at the annual New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City.
“Enacting New Jersey’s first single-use bag fee ordinance is a small step towards reducing the dangers that single-use bags, in particular those made of thin plastic film, pose to the environment,” Longport Mayor Nicholas Russo said in release from Sustainable Jersey.
The ordinance, approved last November, requires businesses to charge 10 cents per bag, a fee that vendors can keep.
Russo said the fee is intended to raise awareness and protect the environment.
“As a coastal community, we find these plastic bags washing up on our beaches, jamming our beach rakes, and clogging our storm drains. We know that they can have a devastating impact on marine wildlife. I say it is a small step because in order to see significant change, it is a step that I hope all 565 municipalities will strive towards,” he said.
Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs.