Cranford officials consider ban on single-use plastic bags, straws

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CRANFORD -

Cranford could become the latest New Jersey town to ban single-use plastic items.

The Cranford Township Committee passed on Tuesday the first of two necessary votes needed to ban single-use plastic bags, straws and containers. The ban would also include Styrofoam.

Several New Jersey towns have already banned the products because of the harmful environmental impact they sometimes cause. Cranford officials say that another reason for the possible ban is that obtaining recycling contracts has become more difficult.

“It’s becoming an economic burden,” says Deputy Mayor Ann Dooley. “It used to be an economic boost to have a recycling program.

RELATED: Bring your own bag: Jersey City’s plastic bag ban now in effect 

Some business owners say that they have already implemented their own self-bans on the products. Burim Regjaj owns a pizzeria in nearby Westfield. He says that he recently chose to replace the plastic utensils in his restaurant with ones made of an alternative.

“It’s important to me as a human being, as a parent,” he says. “We are obligated to leave a better planet for our future generations.”

Regjaj does acknowledge that the cost is higher – about 60% more expensive for the utensils. He says that he hopes that the prices come down if more people embrace the new way.

“Then again, the price of the planet is unquantifiable,” he says.

Cranford will make a final decision on the ban in August. If it is passed, it will be phased in over the next year.

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