The New Year begins the countdown to no more plastic bags from your retailers in Lambertville, N.J.
And, no more Styrofoam and polystyrene foam containers or plastic straws, as Lambertville aims to reduce its carbon footprint and “promote products that will protect the environment, wildlife, and the public health and welfare of the community.
Ordinance 16-2018 was passed by the Lambertville City Council on Sept. 17, with a voluntary opt-in program that began Oct. 1, as phase I.
Phase II kicks in on Jan. 1, 2020, making the prohibition mandatory.
Even paper bags have to be free of old growth fiber, be 100 percent recyclable and made of at least 40 percent recycled post-consumer material and be compostable.
Bags must contain all that information printed on the outside with the name of the manufacturer.
The ordinance covers all items sold at retailers, businesses and stores.
The proprietors will be required to offer the appropriately sourced paper bags or reusable bags.
The ordinance describes a reusable bag as a bag designed for long-term use (a minimum of 75 uses) and capable of carrying 18 pounds.
The reusable bags will be great gifts for local people in the coming year as increasing numbers of retailers begin to phase out plastics.
Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the havoc caused by single-use plastic bags, which are really not recyclable though they are purported to be by the plastic industry. They are showing up in the stomachs of sea creatures and birds, mistaken for food.
Lambertville is stepping up to do its part so we all must get in the habit of bringing our own bags. There are nice, reusable mesh bags for loose produce available these days – to avoid the need for the thin, handle-less bags too.