Point Pleasant Beach ponders plastic shopping bag ban

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH -

Point Pleasant Beach officials want to see a ban of plastic shopping bags in the town’s stores.

City officials will be introducing the ordinance Tuesday at City Hall. Mayor Stephen Reid says that may of the businesses support the plan, and he says that many residents do too.

“When you go to a lake and look around at all the beautiful plantings and see the paper bags hanging in the plantings, you know something’s wrong. It’s not right. It’s not a good fit for Point Pleasant Beach,” Reid says.

Resident Jackie Bruno says that she hates to see all of the trash on the beaches in town.

“It really is awful,” she says. “The ocean’s getting disgusting. I mean, how many fish and whales are eating these things.”

The proposal is being praised by the nonprofit group Clean Ocean Action.

A spokesperson says in a statement, "We congratulate Point Pleasant Beach for their leadership. Last year Clean Ocean Action's Beach Sweep volunteers collected over 9,000 plastic bags in just two days. Any efforts that help reduce plastic pollution are welcome."

If the ban goes through, Point Pleasant Beach would join major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco that also have plastic bag bans. In California, customers must either use paper or reusable bags, or pay 10 cents for a plastic one.

“I don’t have to worry about having a lot of bags,” says California resident Betty Castro. “I just carry my bag and go.”

Mayor Reid says that the town has no plans for plastic bag fees. He say that the town will help customers by handing out free reusable canvas bags to anyone who wants one.

“The town purchased 1,000 reusable bags that say ‘I love Point Pleasant Beach’ on it,” Reid says.

A vote on the ordinance is expected May 15.

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