New Zealand Plastic Bags Ban

In an effort to cut down on plastic-bag use, Margate is launching a new program that will have businesses distribute 10,000 reusable bags to customers.

Two state legislative committees will meet jointly in Toms River on Aug. 23 to hear testimony on problems of single-use plastics and plastic waste and what steps the state can take to limit them.

Members of the public and invited speakers are expected to address the pros and cons of two bills.

A bill (S2600/A3267) to require merchants to charge a 5-cent fee for each plastic or paper single-use bag has passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits action by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Four cents of each fee would go to the state and 1 cent would be kept by merchants.

If Murphy signs the bill as is, it would prevent towns and counties that haven’t already enacted bans from passing new ones.

Surfrider Foundation and other environmental groups want Murphy to support S2776, which bans plastic bags, Styrofoam and plastic straws from being used by most businesses.

The meeting of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee will be 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Toms River Municipal Complex, 33 Washington St., Toms River.

Contact: 609-272-7219 MPost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost Facebook.com/EnvironmentSouthJersey

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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