Jersey Shore towns ban plastic bags, say they dirty beaches, hurt wildlife – USAPosted on May 28, 2018 by DrRossH in Plastic Limiting Regulations
The Jersey Shore is literally the end of the road for fishing nets and thousands of other plastic items that dirty beaches and hurt wildlife.
Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action, said the U.S. is “finally catching up with Europe and Africa,” where laws regulating single use plastics are commonplace. About 150 states, municipalities or counties in the U.S. either ban or require fees on single-use plastic bags.
But that doesn’t affect all the other stuff — like straws, cigarette filter tips, diapers, tampon applicators, syringes, appliances, and blood vials. Clean Ocean Action’s coordinated cleanups of Shore communities in 2017 collected hundreds of thousands of trash items, two-thirds of which were single-use plastic.
It isn’t just beachgoers providing all this trash.
“Every time it rains in Philadelphia, for example, all the garbage that gets washed into storm drains and then into waterways,” Zipf said. “That’s the storm drain effect.”.
“You can almost tell if we’ve had a very rainy winter and a lot of snow. A lot of times, the garbage that was in snow picked up from the street gets into the water.”
Whether the source is a winter snow storm or a summer day at the shore, she said, there’s one constant: “What’s striking about this plastic situation is that there is no one else to blame but human beings.”