Plastic Bags
East Hampton Town is joining the rest of the South Fork in banning single-use plastic bags, like those used at grocery stores, beginning next Tuesday.

Nine months after East Hampton Town adopted a ban on single-use plastic bags, the law is slated to go into effect next Tuesday, Sept. 22.

East Hampton Village, Southampton Town, Sagaponack Village and Southampton Village all have already implemented single-use bag bans.

Environmentalists have been urging the Southold Town Board to ban the bags, to no avail, and Riverhead Town, which contains most of the East End’s big box stores, does not appear willing to consider the ban either.

In both Southampton and East Hampton towns, any retailer caught breaking the ban will be fined up to $1,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 15 days.

The law is designed to encourage people to bring their own reusable bags with them when they shop, though merchants will be permitted to use paper bags.

The law does not ban produce bags; plastic bags that are more than 2.25 milimeters thick, which are considered reusable; bags used by fish markets and farm stands; and 100 percent recycled paper bags.

“It is one step towards solving the bigger problem of environmental deterioration and climate change,” said Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, who sponsored the legislation. “Locally, litter along our streets, woodland trails and surface waters, as well as the impacts to wildlife, will be reduced.”

For more information on East Hampton’s ban, contact John Sousa-Botos at 631.324.0496 or


Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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