Shell-abrating Local Efforts to Curb Plastic Waste

Painted shells distribute the LBI Garden Club’s environmental information. (Images by Jeanette Michaelson)
It has been a few yrs considering that Mayor Mancini and the Prolonged Beach front Township Board of Commissioners handed a plastic bag ban, and an energy by Backyard Club of Prolonged Seaside Island customers with other environmental organizations to have all LBI municipalities to enact this measure followed. Harvey Cedars and Seaside Haven later arrived on board, passing bans alongside with Stafford Township on the mainland.
The Backyard Club of LBI confirmed the movie “A Plastic Ocean” five instances on our Island to spread the phrase. Statistics show half of the believed 300 million tons of plastic developed in 2015 was applied the moment and thrown absent. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic squander move from the land into the ocean per year. An approximated 690 species of marine wildlife are impacted by plastic particles. By 2025 there could be 1 ton of plastic for each individual 3 tons of fish. Plastic particles does not go absent it just breaks down into microplastics getting into the foods chain.
Throughout New Jersey, several other communities also enacted legislation to minimize plastic air pollution. On June 25, 2018, condition Sen. Robert Smith and Sen. Linda Greenstein introduced a statewide invoice to prohibit the use of plastic movie baggage, polystyrene foam and solitary-use plastic straws, and to evaluate a cost on paper baggage. Because June 2018 the monthly bill has been revised and presently prohibits giving most single-use plastic luggage and polystyrene food items containers, phases out paper bags, and will allow for plastic straws only given on ask for. The Senate and the Assembly passed the monthly bill, and it is at this time on Gov. Murphy’s desk awaiting his signature by Nov. 8. When the monthly bill turns into law, there will be a 12-month grace period of time for straws becoming given only on request and 18 months for implementation of the ban on solitary-use plastic baggage, paper luggage and polystyrene foam containers. It will be 1 of the strongest anti-plastic air pollution regulations in our country, coming at a time when the have to have to lower plastic air pollution is so vital.
COVID-19 has interfered with participation of the Environmental Committee of the Yard Club of LBI and other environmental companies at group gatherings to spread the term about plastic air pollution. But COVID or not, there is significantly we can all do to reduce the flow of plastics into our oceans, rivers, bays and landfills. We can each and every get in touch with Gov. Murphy, inquiring him to indication the invoice (A-1978/S-864). We can take actions each day to lessen the movement of plastic. To list just a few:
• Use your reusable baggage for all buying. Pack your baggage your self in your browsing cart or on the pull-out tray at the close of the checkout region.
• Do not request straws in eating places, etc. Use your very own stainless steel straws brought from property.
• Use your personal refillable water container, not solitary-use plastic bottles.
• Use glass jars for storage in the kitchen and glass containers for fridge storage.
• Avoid making use of balloons, but if you do, deflate and dispose of them responsibly.
• Recycle all plastic movie utilised as an overwrap on a number of goods like bathroom paper and deflate the big inflated bubble wrap sheets utilised for packing materials in transported objects, which are also film. All film may well be recycled together with solitary-use plastic luggage at collaborating recycling areas these types of as ShopRite.
Yard Club of LBI customers have been painting clam shells with messages reminding everybody that lowering plastic air pollution is anything we can all do. We hope the shells will brighten the working day of citizens and website visitors as they walk all over LBI. Thank you, Carol Freas, for the shell plan. You should search for them at the dune entrances to our beaches, in parks and tucked absent at other places. They can be discovered at the Barnegat Lighthouse Point out Park in close proximity to the entrance to the Maritime Forest Path, in which everyone is invited to generate and include their individual shell with an environmental message.

We are fortunate to be ready to stay on Long Seashore Island. Let us all do what we can to maintain it and get the job done towards strengthening the wellness of the oceans for upcoming generations.
 Mary Wilding of Harvey Cedars is chair of the Yard Club of LBI’s Environmental Committee.

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