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Point Pleasant Beach introduces ordinance to ban plastic shopping bags

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH -

The Point Pleasant Beach City Council has introduced an ordinance to ban plastic shopping bags in the town.

The U.S. population uses 380 billion plastic bags in one year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Beach cleanup organizations say plastic is the No. 1 thing they pick up off of New Jersey's beaches.

MORE: Point Pleasant Beach ponders plastic shopping bag ban 

Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Stephen Reid wants to get rid of the bags all together from businesses in town. There will be some exceptions, such as bags used for bait, bags used to store produce, meats, frozen and deli foods and flowers; bags used by pet stores to tote live fish; dry cleaner and door hangar bags; and bags sold in packages, such as garbage liners. 

Mayor Reid says it has the support of businesses.

"When you go to a lake and look around beautiful plantings and see the paper bags hanging in a plant, you know something is wrong,” says Mayor Reid. “It's not a good fit for Point Pleasant Beach."

In exchange for cleaning out bags, the town bought 1,000 canvas reusable bags for residents, at no charge, available at local shops. 

In 2010, the Guinness Book of Records noted the plastic bag is the No. 1 ubiquitous consumer item. 

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