By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
Following the lead of many other municipalities Asbury Park is planning to ban the use of single use plastic bags in the new year.
City Council was expected to introduce an amendment to the Environmental Regulations banning single use plastic bags from retail establishments and street vendors at its meeting at press time.
If approved, the new regulations would become effective Feb. 1.
Some bags would be exempt including bags without handles used for buying produce, meat or dry goods and bags used by dry cleaning establishments along with bags for prescriptions.
The definition of reusable bags are those with handles that are designed for multiple reuse and are made of either cloth or plastic that is at least 2.25 millimeters thick.
The law does not prevent businesses from providing single use paper bags or for charging customers a fee for paper bags or from selling reusable shopping bags.
The law also allows businesses to charge a fee of five cents for a plastic single use bag, which the businesses then keep.
The city manager will be charged with providing outreach and education to the community about the new regulations.
Enforcement of the new rules will be by the city manager who may go through code enforcement, public works and the recycling coordinator.
The penalty will be in accordance with those set forth in the city code.
Council was also expected to introduce an amendment governing the planting of in-ground invasive plants.
The plants noted in the amendment are bamboo, ragweed, multi flora rose, kudzu-vine and poison ivy or oak.
Residents who have these plants on their property must control their growth and contain them within their property’s boundaries.
The amendment also prohibits the planting of any new in-ground invasive plants.
Inspections will be carried out by city appointees and penalties will be governed by city code.