Every year the non-profit organization Clean Ocean Action in Long Branch, NJ, conducts multiple "beach sweeps" up and down the Jersey coastline, to keep our Jersey Shore beaches clean. Of all the pieces of garbage collected each time, plastic is among the top offenders, including plastic bags.

Listen to Rich DeSisto weekdays from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. on 105.7 The Hawk and download our free 105.7 The Hawk app.

Those bags collected from the beautiful sands of our beaches are not just the byproduct of littering, but what may have washed up on shore from a landfill floating thousands of miles away.  Plastic bags are considered one of the deadliest wastes in our landfills and ocean.

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“Fish eat thousands of tons of plastic a year, transferring it up the food chain to bigger fish and marine mammals. Microplastics are also consumed by people through food and in the air.”

We use plastic bags for almost everything; Packaging and transporting things such as groceries, Wawa hoagies, ice, our garbage waste.  Sometimes we even turn into MacGyver and reuse a plastic bag after its initial purpose for something else.  This is our attempt as a society to feel better when we eventually convert the” bag” into trash.  It should come as no surprise when we hear from smarter people than ourselves that plastic bags are not good and should be banned.

ban reusable bags plastic back during coronavirus COVID-19 emergency
(Getty Stock)

"Eight states including, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont have already banned single-use plastic bags, and there may be more added to that list in 2021."

This week, Philadelphia begins to roll out its ban on plastic bags beginning Thursday, July 1, with full enforcement come April 2022, here in the Garden State our ban begins next spring.  New Jersey state lawmakers passed what is considered the “strictest stance against single-use plastic bags in the nation.  Governor Phil Murphy supports it.  In November of 2020, Murphy signed the new law banning NJ businesses from using single-use plastic bags, but paper bags, plastic straws, and polystyrene food containers.

“Plastic bags are one of the most problematic forms of garbage, leading to millions of discarded bags that stream annually into our landfills, rivers, and oceans,” Murphy said in statement. “With today’s historic bill signing, we are addressing the problem of plastic pollution head-on with solutions that will help mitigate climate change and strengthen our environment for future generations.”

Listen to Rich DeSisto weekdays from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. on 105.7 The Hawk and download our free 105.7 The Hawk app.

reusable shopping bags plastic bag ban (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media NJ)
(Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media NJ)

Stock up on those reusable “eco-friendly" shopping bags.  Just keep them in the trunk of your car.  It won’t be long before the phrase “paper or plastic” will be as foreign to our children and grandchildren as “8-tracks” and “cassettes”.  :)

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