plastic bags
Plastic one-use shopping bags are everywhere.

Members of North Fork Audubon are rallying the troops to pack Southold Town Hall’s meeting room this Tuesday, Sept. 8 at the board’s 7:30 p.m. meeting in support of a long-languishing proposal to ban one-use plastic bags in Southold.

Last summer, supporters of a bag ban packed Southold Town Hall to ask the town to take the lead in banning plastic bags, which can choke birds and marine animals, to no avail.

Meanwhile, Southampton and East Hampton Towns both passed bag bans last December. Southampton’s ban went into effect on April 22, and East Hampton’s ban is expected to go into effect Sept. 22.

North Fork Audubon has since gathered more than 1,000 signatures on a petition calling on the Southold Town Board to enact a ban, and they’ve collected nearly 400 signatures to date on a petition.

Many Southold Town residents gave impassioned reasons for signing the petition.

“Grew up on the East End and have seen our beaches go from no plastic to “are you kidding me” amounts,” said Rory MacNish of Mattituck. “Have also been involved in many beach clean ups and the most prevalent trash is plastic. We also need to consider what plastics do on a molecular level, it’s not good.”

“I’ve been recycling/reusing/repurposing long before it was required or “fashionable” because it is common sense,” said Sabrina Buttitta of Mattituck. “We are given an opportunity to live with this great Earth, not merely on it. We are to enjoy what it has to offer and be able to creatively coexist with our Planet, not pillage the Earth to gratify our needs.”

“It is a small lifestyle adjustment that leaves a big impact! Minor inconvenience …great gain!” said Danielle Golden of Greenport. “I appreciate your activism!!!!”

“For townspeople who pride ourselves on preservation and the beauty of our landscape, Southold should be the leaders in moving toward a truly clean and sustainable lifestyle for ourselves, wildlife and our environment,” said Deborah Roth of Southold.


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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