Letter to the Editor: Banning plastics is the right move

Resident says banning single use plastics is a major step in helping solve environmental problems affecting Camden County

Dear Editor,

“Making it Better, Together” is the official quote on the Camden County website, and that’s absolutely right! We can make a difference, together. Banning single use plastics is a major step in helping solve environmental problems affecting Camden County. Single-use plastics are perhaps the biggest threat to water quality.

The Cooper River is an important resource for our county, running through various towns and providing numerous ecosystem services to the public including recreation uses. There is even an endangered species found in the tidal section of the Cooper River! Banning single-use plastic will support keeping our waterways clean and pollution free. I grew up using the Cooper River; it is a beautiful sight to see in the middle of industrial New Jersey, one worth protecting.

This spring, the NJDEP proposed 749 miles of waterways under the Clean Water Act for increased protections from pollution, including the tidal portion of the Cooper River. These protections, called Category One (C1), ensure waterways can’t be measurably degraded and have protections to reduce run-off pollution.

Not only is the banning of plastics essential to protecting our waterways and ecosystems, but adopting C1 upgrades will also ensure our waterways have the best protection against pollution. Maintaining and protecting our waterways has never been more crucial.

This is the first time in over a decade NJDEP has proposed waterways for these increased protections. This is a strong step by the NJDEP and the Murphy Administration and we urge every proposed waterway be upgraded.

We also urge the Murphy Administration to strengthen criteria to ensure we’re protecting more waterways based on drinking water and recreational significance and to move forward with future upgrades. The best way to preserve our waterways is to protect them before they become polluted.

A devoted and concerned citizen of Camden County,
Brandie Devlin
Clean Water Campaign Coordinator
Environment New Jersey