Since New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy eased the reins on his state’s economy a month ago, the beach towns along the shore have been filling up, and increased takeout dining has brought a tidal wave of trash to the area.
Single-use plastic bags and containers are inundating shore towns as pizza parlors, seafood dives, supermarkets, and souvenirs shops spring back to life.
Some cities have added trash receptacles and increased collection frequencies in high-density areas. Others have increased patrols and added undercover officers to dissuade people from violating trash laws.
In early March, New Jersey’s legislature was in the midst of passing a stringent ban on single-use plastic bags and containers, but the impact of the pandemic stopped that effort dead in its tracks. Now a new bill has been introduced to prohibit the sale of polystyrene packaging and require plastic, glass and paper containers to be made from recycled material.