Petition urges ban of plastic bags in Point Boro

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Point Pleasant Borough High School junior Christopher Nunez and his dad Alex took part in Clean Ocean Action’s 36th annual Spring Beach Sweeps April 17. Christopher had started an online petition seeking the banning of plastic bags in the municipality. [COURTESY OF MARIANNE GRANT]

POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant Borough High School students have created an online petition to urge the local governing body to ban the use of plastic bags within the municipality.

According to the change.org petition “Ban Plastic Bag Use in Point Pleasant Borough, New Jersey,” the goal of this petition is to raise awareness about the harmful effects plastic bags can have on the environment and its marine and wildlife and to end the use of plastic bags in the borough “to help protect [the] town from pollution and threat.”

“I really have always been passionate about the environment. I am currently taking the AP Environmental Science class at my school and my teacher has really been talking a lot about plastics and I really have been thinking with plastic bags … I feel like there is not much of a use for them,” said junior Christopher Nunez.

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“After you take your groceries home … ultimately they end up in the trash or just litter, so I feel it is vital to follow the lead for the future to just get rid of these bags.”

According to the online petition, the young organizers want to raise awareness and educate their fellow community members about why plastic bags are bad and how they can have a harmful effect on all aspects of the environment.

“I know people hear ‘Oh, they are bad for the animals,’ but they don’t really see every aspect of why they are bad,” Christopher said. “They don’t understand the suffocating that these animals experience or the fact that they take so long in landfills to break down.”

“We are trying to garner support throughout our town and gain petition signings, so our overall goal would be to hopefully model Point Beach’s ordinance, [which] they passed a bit back, and ban the bags throughout the town,” Christopher added.

“The petition was set up over the weekend and I am very happy that over 70 people have signed it now which is great. My ultimate goal is 1,000 signatures for the petition, but the more the better so I am really happy and we are just trying to push it out to as many people as we can during this time.”

Point Pleasant Beach became the first town in New Jersey to ban the use of single-use plastic bags in May 2018 when the borough council voted to adopt ordinance 2018-08, which reads: “No business or store shall provide any single-use, plastic carryout bags to a customer at the check stand, cash register, point of sale or other point of departure.” To back up its action, the town distributed free, cloth tote bags.

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