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 firstname.lastname@example.org.