FREEHOLD, NJ — “The Problem with Plastics” will be the topic of a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, October 29, sponsored by the Monmouth County Environmental Council.

The program will provide an overview of the plastics recycling industry, current recycling regulations and local initiatives to reduce plastic pollution, including successful municipal bans on single-use plastic bags and outreach efforts.

The free event, which is open to the public, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Monmouth County Agricultural Building, 4000 Kozloski Road, Freehold.

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Featured speakers include:

■  Meredith DeMarco, chief operating officer of Matawan-based NY/NJ Baykeeper, who will discuss local microplastics research and other efforts.

■  Jaye Sims, Monmouth County assistant district recycling coordinator, who will explain the county’s recycling process and offer guidance on what can and cannot be recycled.

■  John Stanton and Harv Straus from Atlantic Coast Recycling, who will provide insight into the recycling market. Its company operates recycling facilities in Tinton Falls, Neptune and Lakewood.

Attendees also will participate in an interactive game to put their recycling knowledge to the test.

The nation's recycling industry has been in a state of flux since China stopped accepting various types of plastic and paper, and tightened its standards on what materials it would accept in January 2018. China — the world's leading polluter in terms of carbon emissions — is the destination for most of America’s recyclables.

Those changes continue to ripple through the country, as states, counties and municipalities are struggling with how to address the issue, without having to place the burden on skyrocketing recycling costs on the public. In New Jersey, including Monmouth County, it has meant the tightening of recycling rules during the  past year.

During the October 29 program, the Monmouth County Environmental Council will debut the latest Eco-Tips brochure focused on tips to reduce plastic consumption and understanding the recycling process.

For express sign-in at the event or for information, email Amber Mallm at Amber.Mallm@co.monmouth.nj.us or call 732-431-7560 ext. 7473.

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