Monday, August 6, 2018
A new ordinance banning single-use plastic bags and straws within Atlantic County parks will become effective on Monday, August 13.
Signs will be posted to alert visitors of the new regulation that was adopted by the Atlantic County Board of Freeholders in July as an amendment to Chapter 97 of the Atlantic County Code. Violators will be issued warnings through August 2019 at which time fines up to $500 will be imposed.
County Executive Dennis Levinson applauded the freeholders for taking this step to protect our natural resources from single-use plastics that are not biodegradable and litter our forests, waterways and beaches.
“Our goal is to be good environmental stewards in maintaining and protecting the more than 7,000 acres of county parks for the use and enjoyment of our residents and visitors now and for many years to come,” he stated.
Levinson noted research that suggests the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish by 2050. Studies also found that tiny particles of plastic are already in our food chain and an average person who consumes seafood ingests 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic per year.
“This is a first step at the county level which we hope will be adopted by other entities as well,” said Levinson.