Long Beach Township is the latest Jersey Shore municipality is combat single-use plastic carryout bags.
The regulation adopted by the township’s Board of Commissioners earlier this month prohibits commercial establishments from providing customers with the bags, says the measure is “intended as necessary and proper steps” to protect the community.
The Long Beach Township ordinance states it is addressing “a significant global problem relating to the sale and use of plastic bags” and will “further incentivize the use of reusable bags at businesses” to “ultimately protect the environment, wildlife, and the public health, welfare, and safety.”
The law is set to take effect in about six months.
To the south in Longport, the municipality adopted a measure in late 2015 that requires businesses charge a 10 cent fee for single-use plastic and paper bags.
Plastic bags consistently pop up as one of the most collected items in beach cleanups, according to Beth Kwart, chair of the South Jersey chapter of the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation.
“This is a HUGE win for the environment and everyone involved since the beginning,” a spokesperson for the Surfrider Foundation’s Jersey Shore chapter wrote on Facebook. “Take notice of their victory and realize you can be heard when you use your voice.”
WHYY’s Joe Hernandez contributed to this report.