Action Alerts


College Students: Apply for ANJEC’s 2024 Lechner Scholarship!

ANJEC will award a $1,200 scholarship to a New Jersey college student entering their junior or senior year. The scholarship is granted to encourage qualified students to pursue a career in a field related to environmental protection.

The Lechner Scholarship Fund is a living memorial to Hermia Lechner, in recognition of her many years of dedicated service and contributions to the preservation of open space and natural resources in New Jersey.

Scholarship eligibility:

  • New Jersey resident
  • Attending an accredited New Jersey four-year college or university
  • Entering junior or senior year in the fall of 2024
  • Majoring in natural resources, parks and recreation, environmental law, environmental sciences
    or a related field
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Demonstrated activism in the preservation of New Jersey’s open space, wildlife or water

Application deadline: April 30, 2024
Application link:
(Please remember to submit the required documents noted within the Google form.)
The scholarship will be awarded by May 31, 2024. The winner will be honored at ANJEC’s
annual Environmental Congress in the autumn of 2024.

For questions, please contact:
Georgia Madiba, ANJEC Membership Manager

Protect Open Space and Hazardous Site Cleanup Funding

Governor Murphy is threatening to slash $60 million of annual state funding for environmental programs. ANJEC has prepared a resolution for Environmental Commissions and municipalities to adopt to encourage state legislators to support Open Space.

In June, Governor Murphy signed a state budget that plans on cutting approximately $60 million annually for land preservation and cleanup of hazardous polluted sites starting in January 2024. The New Jersey Legislature can correct this in the lame duck session between now and early January 2024.  We ask that Environmental Commissions pass this resolution and then request that your governing body do the same. 
Send a copy to ANJEC at once adopted.

Say NO to $10+ Billion in state funding for expanding the NJ Turnpike; Say YES to more public transportation.

Resolution Opposing the Expansion of the NJ Turnpike

ELIZABETH, NJ – FEBRUARY 23: Trucks and cars drive down the New Jersey Turnpike February 23, 2005 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. According to the Clean Air Task Force, an average of 2,729 early deaths from diesel engine pollution occur per year in the New York metropolitan area, the highest rate in the nation. According to the report, diesel exhaust causes over 20,000 early deaths nationwide a year. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The Murphy Administration is proposing to spend $10 billion in state funds (at the last estimate) to expand one lane in areas of both north and south Jersey. The Jersey City Environmental Commission is strongly opposed to this, and we are asking for your help standing with them. We argue that these significant state resources should instead be spent on climate-friendly public transportation investments that make common sense in the most densely populated area of the most densely populated state. We ask that Environmental Commissions pass this resolution and then request that your governing body do the same.  Send a copy to ANJEC at once adopted. You do not need to be located near the turnpike or public-transit area to benefit from passing this resolution.  Our collective stance will create a healthier, better-connected NJ with more options for statewide mobility.  This will create economic opportunities for all and mitigate damage already being done to vulnerable populations.



Questions? Email ANJEC for more information

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Plastic Pollution Reduction Act.

Governor Murphy signed this ground-breaking new legislation in November 2020.

When does this law go into effect?
Starting May 2022, both plastic and paper single-use bags, as well as disposable food containers and cups made out of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), will be banned, with some exemptions (bags wrapping raw meat, polystyrene butcher trays, produce bags, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, prescription bags and bags holding fish or insects from pet stores).

• Stores less than 2,500 square feet can still provide paper bags.

• The law also restricts food-service businesses from handing out plastic straws, unless specifically requested by a customer, beginning in November 2021.

Click here  for printable/viewable Fact Sheet on the new law.
For more resources and information


One of the many coronavirus fears is about the safety of using reusables.  ANJEC has compiled a list of Q&A and resources to share in your community:

1. Are reusables safe?

– Yes, the short answer is that soap and hot water are effective at killing coronavirus, other viruses, and bacteria. Home and commercial dishwashers are more effective than hand-washing because of the added benefit of high temperature and prolonged washing.

– State health codes ensure that commercial dishwashing will kill all pathogens, and the coronavirus is especially sensitive to soap and heat.

 Virus Spreads Primarily from Inhaling Aerosolized Droplets, Rather than through Contact with Surfaces
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC), “The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person…between people who are in close contact with one another, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks .” While “it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes,” aerosolized droplets are the only documented method of COVID-19 transmission to date.

2. Aren’t disposables safer?

– No. Properly washed resuables are safe.

– In addition, according to a recently-released peer-reviewed scientific consensus statement, over 12,000 chemicals are used in food packaging, and many of them are hazardous to human health. Migration of these toxic chemicals out of disposables into our food and drinks is not an issue with non-plastic reusables. 

3. Can I use my reusable water bottle or coffee cup?

– Absolutely. Coronavirus mainly spreads through coughs and sneezes, not your reusable water bottle or cup.

– The best water refill options when you’re out and on-the-go are hands-free electronic water refilling stations like you see at the airport. If you don’t have easy access to one of these, then you can use the tap or the water cooler. Just don’t let your water bottle directly touch the spigot, and be mindful about washing your hands after touching communal surfaces.

– The same logic applies to your coffee cup. Just don’t touch your cup directly to the spigot or coffee pot, and wash your hands.

– Also, don’t forget to wash your bottle or cup with soap and water, preferably in a dishwasher.

4.  What are some tips for using a reusable bag?

– Bring clean, washed bags to the grocery store. If possible, sanitize the shopping cart before you put your bags in it. Many stores offer disinfectant wipes at their entrances.

– At checkout, avoid putting your bags on the counter. Rather, keep your bags in the cart as you pack up groceries.

 – Wash your bags after each trip to the grocery store. Soap and hot water are effective at killing coronavirus, other viruses, and bacteria.

5. My local grocer is NOT allowing me to use reusable bags.  What are my options?

– Understanding the employee safety is number one concern, offer to bag your own groceries
– Choose to put your groceries loosely back in the cart or use a box (e.g., Costco)

– Ask your grocer to stop using single-use plastic:

6.  How can local restaurants reduce single-use plastic?

– Skip disposable cutlery and straws – Save some money and prevent waste by simply not providing cutlery with take-out or delivery options, or only provide it on request.

– Hold off on condiment packets – Consider providing condiment sachets or to-go cups only on request to save money and prevent packaging and food waste.

– For pick-up orders, allowing customers to bag their own orders in reusable bags saves staff time and reduces customer contact while preventing waste from disposable bags. For contactless deliveries, bags may not be needed if food can simply be placed (in containers) at a customer’s door.

–If reusables are not an option, choose better single-use take out containers made from naturally occurring materials. Paper-based items, bamboo plates, wooden utensils, straws made completely from paper, hay, pasta, seaweed, bamboo and more.

7.  What can be done about all the personal protective equipment (PPE) littering our streets and waterways?

– Ask your grocer/retail store if they will put out specially marked trash containers for PPE. Or allow signage asking people to dispose properly

-Post on social media.  Write op-eds.

– On a cleanup, track the amount of PPEs

8. Will coronavirus kill the growing zero waste lifestyle, built on bring-your-own (BYO), reuse, and bulk shopping?

– No, the zero waste lifestyle is here to stay and is gaining more traction every day. While the coronavirus will change many things in our lives for a time, it won’t change our core values like working for healthy people, a healthy planet, and a sustainable economy.

– But just like take-out and food delivery, this crisis is also showing us that we need better systems for BYO and bulk shopping. Hands-free dispensers and methods are part of the solution, as are on-site sanitizing for BYO. In addition, businesses can create new systems to provide clean, sanitized reusable containers for bulk purchasing on deposit – similar to how local dairies are bringing back the reusable milk bottle.

– We have to stay vigilant.  Stay in touch with your township council and community.


Plastic Reduction Tools for Businesses and Communities


What is Single Use Plastic Pollution?

Single-use plastics are items that are generally used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. Most common examples are plastic bottles, bags, Styrofoam, straws, cigarette butts, monofilament fishing lines and balloons. New Jersey residents alone go through 4.4 BILLION plastic bags each year.

Plastics have been found in the food we eat and the water we drink and threatens our $44 billion coastal economy and the 838,000 workers employed in the fishing and tourism industries. ANJEC is here to provide guidance and feedback on municipal ordinance.  Please note that the language in the State bill (S864/A1978) continue to fluctuate and we attempt to provide the latest information.    ANJEC is here to provide you with resources and tools to fight plastic pollution in your municipality.


ANJEC has compiled more tools that can be used at the local level: strategies for public engagement, scientific reports, sample press releases, fact sheets, marketing programs and more.
Email ANJEC or call 973-539-7547 for assistance.

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