Three shore towns in South Jersey are joining a slew of coastal communities in regulating plastic bags in an effort to cut down on pollution in the ocean.
Brigantine, Avalon and Stone Harbor will begin enforcing plastic bag bans starting Saturday.
In Brigantine, supermarkets, drugstores, food marts and restaurants will not be allowed to provide single-use carry-out bags made of plastic. Businesses that violate the ordinance are subject to a fine ranging from $5 to $500.
Avalon retailers will no longer be permitted to distribute plastic bags, straws or Styrofoam food containers. There is a fine of up to $200 for the first violation.
The same rules will take effect in Stone Harbor, but disposable foodware, including cutlery, containers and bowls, is also prohibited.
At the state level, a bill is in the Senate calling for a ban on single-use plastic bags, straws and polystyrene food containers. It comes after Gov. Phil Murphy vetoed legislation last year that placed a fee on plastic bags, saying it did not go far enough.