This document is an abstract of the ordinance intended for general information.  The actual ordinance has appeared on as of September, 2018..thank you!

Summary:  On September 18, 2018 the Avalon Borough Council approved Ordinance 779-2018 that supports the Avalon Clean Water Initiative.  It regulates and prevents the distribution of certain plastic items deemed to constitute a threat to the environment.  Avalon and Stone Harbor have adopted very similar ordinances with advice and consultation from Dr. Lenore Tedesco at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor.  Avalon’s Clean Water Initiative includes this effort to remove single-use materials from our waterways; increases locations for monofilament disposal locations; and educates boaters on the importance of securing polluting materials during a day on the water.

The Basics:  This ordinance generally discourages and decreases the use of certain polystyrene food service products; single-use plastic bags; and plastic straws.  The ordinance goes into effect on June 1, 2019.  None of these products are accepted as recyclable products by the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority and all of it is placed in a local landfill.  Other communities throughout the State adopted similar ordinances; the State itself attempted to put a user tax on plastic bags/products, but that legislation failed in Trenton.

Exemptions:  There are multiple exemptions to this ordinance.  They include, but are not limited to:  Any product purchased, prepared, or packaged outside of the Borough of Avalon and sold or delivered in Avalon; meat trays; bags of any type that the customer brings to the store for individual use; certain bulk items including produce, nuts, grains, candy, small hardware; wrapping of frozen foods, meat or fish, whether or not pre-packaged; contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items; unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods; bait and other items often used for recreational fishing or crabbing.  Laundry dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, or packages of multiple bags intended to use for garbage, pet waste, or yard waste are allowable, but the Borough encourages the use of recyclable or compostable products throughout.

Hardship Case:  There is a provision in the ordinance for an exemption by a merchant for hardship, or other “unique or unforeseeable circumstance”.  An application may be made to a Review Committee for a one-year exemption.

Enforcement:  Avalon Code Enforcement and Avalon Police have primary responsibility for enforcement.  We understand that 2019 will be a “learning” year for all of us, and we fully anticipate having to make certain adjustments to the ordinance after the summer to correct any deficiencies in the ordinance.  This is all about dialogue and working together for a cleaner community and cleaner marine environment.

More Information:  Additional information, including the text of the actual ordinance, has appeared on the Avalon municipal website,, since summer, 2018.  Discussion of the Clean Water Initiative is included in the 2019 Avalon Information Guide and in the 2019 Avalon Spring Newsletter.  Questions?  Send it along to Avalon Business Administrator Scott Wahl,

Borough of Avalon Single Use Plastics Ordinance 2018