WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The Borough Council on Sept. 4 approved an ordinance by a 7-0 vote that will prohibit retail establishments in town from providing single-use plastic carry-out bags. Businesses will have six months from date of passage, Sept. 4, to become compliant.
All retail establishments will have to make available to customers, for a fee, compliant bags - either recyclable paper bags or cloth reusable bags with handles or other washable fabric designed for multiple use.
Woodland Park now joins 25 other municipalities that have adopted their own bans on single use plastic bags. While it has been talked about, the state has not moved on enacting a ban.
“These bags are never going to disintegrate in our lifetime," Mayor Keith Kazmark said. “We are doing this because of our concerns for the environment and for wildlife.”
The Borough has a team that will assist establishments by referring them to sources of appropriate information and to associations, unions or other organizations that have educational materials concerning the benefits of reusable bags rather than recyclable paper carry-out bags.
Following the six month implementation time, any establishment that violates or fails to comply with the ordinance, after an initial written warning notice, will be fined. The following penalties shall be imposed: a fine not exceeding $100 for the first violation after the written warning notice is given; a fine not exceeding $200 for the second violation after the written warning notice is given; and a fine not exceeding $500 for the third and any subsequent violations after the written warning notice is given.