SUMMIT, NJ - The substance of three potential City ordinances -- which, when combined, would aim to restrict the use of single-use plastics in the Hilltop City -- will be reviewed in a quartet of public workshops conducted by the City of Summit on October 7 and 17.

The proposed ordinances would be introduced at the November 6 Summit Common Council meeting with a public hearing and opportunity for comments on the November 18 Summit Common Council meeting.

Two workshop sessions will be conducted each of the two days: on October 7 and 17  from 7 a.m. -  9 a.m. and 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. The October 7 meetings will be held in the Whitman Community Room at City Hall, located at 512 Springfield Avenue. The October 17 workshops will be held at the Summit Community Center, located at 100 Morris Avenue. Residents, along with representatives from interested businesses and property owners are invited and encouraged to attend.

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The first ordinance would prohibit use of single-use plastic bags by businesses at the point of purchase. The second ordinance is a ban on polystyrene -- commonly known as Styrofoam -- food containers. The third ordinance would limit businesses to provide plastic straws only upon request by customers.

During the workshop sessions, City and elected officials will be present to answer questions and obtain input from the business and residential communities on the development of the ordinances.

The proposed ordinance limiting use of plastic bags allows exemptions for certain purposes:

A.    Produce or product bags, whether plastic or not, in which loose or bulk items, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candies, or small hardware items, are placed by a consumer to deliver such items to the point of sale or check out area of a retail establishment;

B.    Laundry or dry cleaning bags;

C.    Newspaper bags;

D.    Bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish, whether packaged or not; 

E.    Bags used to contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness may be an issue; 

F.    Bags used to contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods; or 

G.    Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as food storage bags, garbage bags, yard waste bags, or pet waste bags. 

Exemptions for the proposed ordinance limiting the distribution of plastic straws are as follows:

A.    Pre-packaged drinks sold or distributed by a Food Provider. 

B.    Use by individuals with a disability or other impairment requiring use of plastic straw. 

C.    Non-plastic alternatives to plastic beverage straws. 

For the proposed ordinance restricting use of polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam): 

  1. Raw or Prepared Foods prepared or packaged outside the City of Summit are exempt from provisions of the ordinance. However, vendors of food prepared or packaged outside of the City of Summit are encouraged to comply with the provisions of the ordinance.

“These proposed restrictions on single-use plastics like other initiatives undertaken by the City need to be an inclusive process,” said Summit Mayor Nora Radest. “Before ordinances are considered by Common Council, it is imperative that we gather community feedback. Please consider attending a workshop session on October 7 or October 17.”