Union County, NJ – As the summer cookout season approaches, the Union County Board of County Commissioners reminds residents and visitors to help prevent windblown bags and other litter in County parks. Instead of plastic bags, use sturdy totes, backpacks, or baskets to carry supplies for family celebrations and other outdoor gatherings.
Union County’s 36 public parks provide a refuge for birds, fish, turtles, and other wildlife that can be hurt or killed when entangled in plastic bags that become lost or blown away by the wind. They can also be harmed by mistakenly ingesting plastic and other litter.
“Everyone can make a difference by switching to reusable bags when visiting County parks,” said Commissioner Board Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “Getting into the reusable habit this summer can also help prepare everyone for next year’s statewide bag ban.”
As of May 4, 2022, New Jersey state law will ban plastic shopping bags at grocery stores and retail outlets. Paper bags will be also banned at large grocery stores of more than 2,500 square feet.
In addition, the new law will cover “clamshell” type food containers and other products that are only used once and thrown away, including plates, cups, food trays and utensils. Plastic straws at restaurants will be available only on request.
More details about the New Jersey bag ban are available from the New Jersey Clean Community Council at bagupnj.com.
Visitors to Union County parks are also reminded that lost fishing line can be hazardous to wildlife. Convenient “Reel in and Recycle” disposal bins are available at popular fishing spots in Union County parks for the safe disposal of broken or unwanted line.
For more information about Union County parks, including details about picnic area reservations and fishing spots, visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation.
Quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities are available at The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
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