Madison, NJ - In anticipation of the March 1, 2020 plastic bag ban, the Madison Environmental Commission is launching a reusable bag drive. “We hope to collect a large amount of bags to donate community groups that are not likely to have a stash of reusable bags,” says Claire Whitcomb, Environmental Commission Chair.
Clean, gently used bags can be dropped off in the lobby of the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building (50 Kings Road) or at Grace Church (4 Madison Avenue). They will be distributed to Drew University students, the Madison Senior Center and the Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center, a nonprofit that is working on a Rethink Plastic campaign with the Latinx community in Madison.
Working together with the Mayors from Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and Morris Township, Madison Mayor Robert H. Conley is proud to see a large regional approach to the plastic bag ban. “There is no doubt that New Jersey will ban the single-use plastic bags sometime in the future, but we knew that we could make a difference by acting now. So many of our residents visit their neighboring town to shop, so by acting regionally we have minimized confusion by having similar rules in Madison, the Chathams and Morris Township,” said Conley. “While New Jersey is known as the ‘Home Rule Capital of the World’; time and time again, we have shown that we can work together! I look forward to seeing more partnerships implementing bans as we march towards a statewide regulation,” continued Conley.
“I am proud that Madison is taking a truly sustainable approach to ensuring that everyone in town has a reusable bag to use for their local shopping,” says Maureen Byrne, Borough Council Liaison to the Environmental Commission. Byrne has already donated a dozen of her own bags to the Senior Center.
“Drew University is proud to partner with the Madison Environmental Commission in this collaborative effort to reduce the use of disposable bags in our community,” notes Stephanie McCormick, the Drew University Director of Facilities Administration. “Beyond simply shopping with reusable bags, our students and other community members are eager to contribute to this ongoing zero waste education program.” Sustainability efforts are not new to Drew, which has been named by The Princeton Review in its Green Guide to Colleges for 10 years running.
There are no requirements as to the type of bags that can be donated, other than that they be in good condition. “Though materials matter—and biodegradable bags are preferred—the least sustainable bag in anyone’s closet is the one that’s not getting used,” says Whitcomb.
Questions about the Madison Environmental Commission’s reusable bag drive can be addressed to MEC@rosenet.org