WILDWOOD CREST – Commissioners listened to a presentation on the benefits of banning single-use plastic items harmful to the environment, at their Oct. 7 meeting.
Sam Wilson, chairman of the Green Team, which is made up of nine volunteer Wildwood Crest residents, pitched commissioners on the environmental and economic benefits of a ban.
The ban would include plastic straws and flatware, balloons, and Styrofoam containers. Compostable or recyclable replacement items would be recommended to local businesses.
Wilson pointed to Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Cape May as other county towns that adopted a similar ordinance.
He said plastic items can sit in landfills for generations, but the dangers they pose are even greater in coastal communities. Bags, straws, balloons, and other items that end up in the ocean can harm or kill sea life, often large, intelligent animals who mistakenly ingest the trash.
Passing this type of ordinance can also score the Crest points and money with state programs, Wilson pointed out, like Sustainable Jersey, which offers financial incentives for environmentally minded governance.
Detractors argue that the eco-friendly replacements are inferior and often more expensive for businesses.
Commissioners and Wilson agreed that such a ban probably would not be feasible before summer 2022.