Ventnor City Passes Bag Fee Ordinance, Receives $10,000 Grant for Outreach and Education

Ventnor officially adopted an ordinance to encourage residents to bring their own bags to stores by placing a five-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags. The ordinance will go into effect on October 1, 2018.

As a coastal community, the City believes the ordinance is an important measure that will reduce plastic pollution and protect its beaches and oceans.

The City is the fourth city in the state and the second in Atlantic County to take a stand on this important issue (Longport became the first municipality in New Jersey to enact this measure in November 2015). Since then, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson has called on mayors of all Atlantic County towns to consider taking action.  

Ventnor City Mayor Beth Holtzman said this ordinance is about future generations. “We need to make changes for them,” Holtzman said.

The Ventnor Green Team has received a $10,000 grant from Sustainable Jersey to give away reusable bags and create outreach materials, such as local signage and advertising, to inform the community about the change.

All stores will be responsible for implementing the five-cent fee on both paper and plastic bags (paper is included because the cost to provide them in place of plastic would be a burden to business owners). Restaurants and street vendors are exempt from the fee. Any business found to be in violation of the ordinance will be issued a warning. If a business continues to violate the ordinance after the warning, they will receive a $100 fine for each violation.
All funds generated by the fee will stay with the business.
Anyone receiving nutrition benefits such as SNAP and WIC will not be charged the five-cent fee.

The ordinance was the culmination of a four-year outreach and education effort by Sustainable Downbeach, the Ventnor Green Team and Surfrider Foundation, South Jersey Chapter.

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