083018_gal_plastic

One month after the Township Council voted against banning single-use plastic bags, they authorized a resolution in support of statewide legislation to ban the bags.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — One month after the Township Council voted against banning single-use plastic bags, they authorized a resolution in support of statewide legislation to ban the bags.

“We were looking to Gov. (Phil) Murphy to see what he was going to do with the initial bill that was on his desk regarding a charge for plastic bags,” said Mayor Anthony J. Coppola Jr. “We went back and forth and contemplated the idea of doing a township ordinance, and ultimately agreed that we support the efforts of the governor to reduce the use of plastic bags through a statewide initiative and not a municipal initiative.”

Gov. Phil Murphy in August vetoed a bill passed by the Legislature in June that would have required merchants to charge a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags.

Galloway Council passed its resolution unanimously.

“I hope that if they do impose a fee that the fee goes back to the merchant and not the state,” said Coppola. “It just puts another level of bureaucracy into running a small business.”

“The amount of microplastics that have entered our rivers, streams and some of our water tables is starting to get kind of alarming. It’s not just the oceans, it’s really entering every water source that we have,” said Councilwoman Mary Crawford, who brought the issue of single-use plastic to the council’s attention. “So of course, if there isn’t any progress on the state level, I’ll be back around.”

Also at the meeting, Councilman Frank Santo announced the township will hold its first ever “Slam Jam” 3 on 3 basketball tournament Oct. 14 at the township’s new municipal basketball courts.

The event will start at 10 a.m. and will consist of three divisions: fifth and sixth grade, seventh and eighth grade, and high school.

“I’m so excited for this event, Mr. Mayor, and would love to see some sort of charity initial kick-off game, maybe with some council members, maybe with the Public Works Department, maybe with police, the Fire Department, emergency medical services,” said Santo. “I know I’m putting you on the spot here, but that might be something to work on before this tournament gets started.”

“There will be no injuries at the consequence of that, so maybe we can work out a game of horse,” Coppola joked.

Registration for the event can be found at gtnj.org in the section for the Department of Parks and Recreation.