Ventnor Wins Grant to Promote Single Use Bags Ordinance

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Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 9:05 pm

VENTNOR, N.J. -- Plastic bags are everywhere, hanging in trees, clogging storm drains and blowing down the beaches. The City of Ventnor is moving full speed ahead to address this issue. First, the Board of Commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance that will require stores to charge a fee for single-use bags at checkout and now, the Ventnor Green Team was awarded a grant to promote this effort.

Ventnor Mayor Beth Holzman stated, "Thank you Sustainable Jersey and PSEG Foundation for this generous grant. This grant will allow our Green Team to provide a first class outreach program to educate our residents and visitors on this importance of this initiative to rid plastic debris from our beautiful beachfront community."

Washington, D.C., has a similar ordinance. California is the only state with an official statewide law, and all of Hawaii’s counties have adopted one as well.

Commissioner Lance Landgraf noted, “Not only did Washington, D.C. cut its plastic bag usage in half, but about half of their businesses actually save money since they do not have to purchase as many plastic bags.”

Single-use plastic bags are made of a polymer that takes decades or even centuries to break down. These plastic bags often wind up in the ocean and other waterways, where they pose a danger to marine life and are a real hazard in bays and oceans. Almost 20 percent of plastic debris collected in Jersey’s waterways is plastic bags. All too often, marine animals such as seals and sea turtles are found washed up with stomachs full of plastic. Estimates of the world’s plastic waste range from 5 million to 13 million tons per year.

The first municipality to pass a bag ordinance in New Jersey was Longport. Atlantic County is renowned for environmental efforts, and this fee would be another step forward in the fight to safeguard water and air.

“Ventnor was one of 32 New Jersey municipalities to be awarded funds from the Sustainable Jersey organization to implement green initiatives” added Commissioner Tim Kriebel.

Sustainable Jersey awarded four $20,000 grants, eight $10,000 grants and 20, $2,000 grants for a variety of projects, including turtle habitat protection, environmental resource inventories, an electric vehicle charging station, pond restoration, composting and food waste diversion, creative placemaking in a business district, rain gardens, green team capacity building and more.

“Nothing beats seeing a great idea turned into a reality, especially when that dream realizes benefits for communities and the environment,” Sustainable Jersey Executive Director Randall Solomon said when he announced the awards.

SOURCE: City of Ventnor

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