Single-use plastic bags, like the ones given out in stores, have been a particular target of cities and states, including New Jersey.
Single-use plastic bags are very light and can easily blow away from garbage bins on the street or away from landfills that are uncovered. Plastic bags are often consumed by or entangle marine wildlife such as whales, dolphins, turtles, and birds.
On May 4, a ban on plastic bags and polystyrene foam food containers will go into effect in the Garden State. In addition, stores larger than 2500 square feet will be prohibited from using paper bags. A law that requires plastic straws to be given to customers upon request went into effect last November.
Schuler adds reducing the amount of single-use plastic bags will “definitely” be beneficial to the environment. He also suggests beachgoers can also help reduce waste by taking their trash with them as they leave. Though some areas have dumpsters and trash cans, he said, animals can get into receptacles or a wind can blow items onto a beach.