After two years of virtual and canceled Earth Day celebrations, the Partnership for Haddonfield and Sustainable Haddonfield are teaming for a two-day celebration event on April 22 and April 23 at Kings Court.
The year’s theme is to “Bag Up.” On the 22nd, the event partners will give away 500 reusable bags from noon to 5 p.m. to raise awareness of the upcoming ban on single-use plastic carry-out bags, polystyrene foam food-service products and paper bags. The measure will be effective May 4.
The ban also means that grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet will no longer provide or sell single-use paper bags.
“The consumer has a choice: They can either buy or somehow acquire reusable bags, and they have to remember to bring them into the store with them,” said Bob Bergbauer, chairman of the Haddonfield Environmental Commission.
“Going into the store and expecting to have the same plastic bags there, it’s not going to happen.”
The partnership’s Executive Director Michael Marciante said the ban is only the first step in his organization’s informational campaign.
“We want to keep the public informed about the plastic-bag ban,” he noted. “It feels like there’s a lot of misinformation or confusion about it.”
While the bags to be distributed are high quality, with a plastic bottom that can be removed for cleaning, Marciante said the next step will involve creating bags with more reusable material.
Hours for the second part of the Earth Day celebration on the 23rd will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature more family friendly events, including a recycling game sponsored by Crust and Fire Pizza, a model from New Jersey American Water that will show how raindrops travel, and demonstrations on how to use a rain barrel.
Bergbauer described a barrel as a 55-gallon drum container that connects to the downspout of a home to collect rainwater. It usually features a hole at the top and a faucet spigot on the bottom that allows the water to be used for different things.
“When you use it for agricultural purposes, the natural water is actually at the right pH level for soil, whereas if you’re using treated water, it’s not actually the best thing that you could use,” he explained.
The Haddonfield Public Library will provide educational pieces for students that are environment oriented.
To learn more about the single-use bag ban and how it can affect you, visit https://downtownhaddonfield.com/events/plastic-ban/.