BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ The second annual Reusable Bag Design Challenge, hosted by the Bernards Township Environmental Commission, kicks off on Earth Day, April 22, with a callout to all township students in kindergarten through grade 8 to submit their entries.

Entries must be received by June 1, 2021.

Designs must relate to the theme, “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Designs may consist of images or words. Multiple designs may be selected to be printed on reusable bags that will be distributed free of charge later this year to Bernards Township residents, one per family, while supplies last. 

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Entry forms and Challenge Guidelines will be available online at: www.bernards.org/government/documents/department-documents/environmentalor, by email to slong@bernards.org.

Members of the Township Committee and Environmental Commission are again holding the design challenge to actively encourage positive, environmentally-sound choices by promoting the use of reusable bags and provide an alternative to single-use plastic and paper bags.

Single-use plastic bags are now due to be banned by New Jersey state leaw as of May 2022. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is providing grant funding for the project as part of its clean communities’ program.

The first Reusable Bag Challenge was held in 2019, when Anjali Dahiya, a 7th grader at the William Annin Middle School, had her design selected. The contest was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.