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Plastic Bag Ban Starts Wednesday

East Hampton Village stores can't pack merchandise in plastic grocery bags anymore.

Wednesday is the first day of the plastic bag ban in East Hampton Village, making it the second municipality on Long Island to go green when it comes to shopping.

A new law makes it illegal for single-use, non-biodegradable bags plastic shopping and take-out bags, like the ones most often seen at grocery stores, to be given to customers at village stores, markets, and pharmacies. The law included a six-month grace period for compliance.

Paper bags and extra-large plastic bags typical of clothing stores can still be used, but village officials passed the law in hopes of promoting reusable bag usage. Non-profits and residents holding yard sales at their homes are not subject to the ban.

, the only grocery in the village limits ( is outside the village line), was more than ready for the transition and the store is fully stocked up on colorful reusable bags. The , which was enacted in mid-2011 and took effect in November, was the first of its kind in the state, to follow suit.

As the grocery chain did at its Southampton location, Waldbaum's will begin charging 5 cents each for 100 percent recycled paper bags and donate the profit to the Peconic Land Trust, an East End farming, open space and parkland preservation nonprofit, according to Marcy Connor, a representative of A&P, Waldbaum's parent company. The ban does require that if stores offer paper bags to customers they be of a high-recyclable grade.

Reusable shopping bags made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled material will be sold for 99 cents each. Customers will get 5 cents off their grocery bill each time they reuse a bag. The store will also carry Peconic Land Trust-branded merchandise with revenue going to the trust.

The ban does not apply to small plastic bags used to hold items like fruit and vegetables.

One store not as heavily impacted is in East Hampton, which offers a heavier, reusable plastic bag. Village Administrator Larry Cantwell said on Tuesday, "The plastics ban applies only to the very thin plastic you are familiar with at the large grocers. The heavier plastic bag is allowed."

According to 27East, Citarella’s bags are 3 mil thick. The village law applies only to plastic bags less than 2.25 mils that are smaller than 28 by 36 inches.

The fine for not complying with the village code can run up to $1,000 and/or 15 days in jail.

Jerry S February 08, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Waldbaums really can make a great profit from this: no longer giving away/stocking/shipping free bags, and now selling at a profit recyclable bags and paper bags! I bet our OWS friends love helping our corporate giants. IGA will love seeing a big increase in business!
conscious February 08, 2012 at 03:51 PM
First they said don't use paper bags, save the trees, then they came after the plastic bags, next the reusable bags will be considered endangered - LOL - JK
Concerned Citizen February 08, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Change always brings with it skeptics. I like the idea, although I do not think it goes far enough. Plastic bags, like the ones banned, do not decompose, they will break down over time from UV rays, but there is no known decomposition. I believe this is a good step in being environmentally responsible. My applause to the Village of East Hampton to legislate; the Town should follow the Village's lead on this.
Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) February 08, 2012 at 05:33 PM
On Facebook, people are saying they love the bag ban. Linda Ouderkirk-Rempe: Excellent idea, now maybe we wont see little plastic bags filled with trash on the side of the road. if ya know what I mean ! Kate Mueth: Love it. A very basic way to start making a change to clean up our planet. Nancy Hassel: love it! They followed Southampton's suit, I wish the rest of Long Island would. Concerned Citizens of Montauk: A bold move and a great one! We'll adjust and will be better off for having done so. Marthos Polanco: That's good and all. What about those paper bags. We are stepping back to the problem that the plastic bags supposedly solved years back. I guess cutting trees down is back in style. Smh Erin Swanson: Love it! Lynn Johnston Wethy: Love it......
Judy Bennett February 08, 2012 at 05:43 PM
if only the Waldbaums clerks know enough to give you the 5 cents per bring your own bags credit at the end of your shopping. I brought in 8 of my own bags and used them all and when i got home on credit on my receipt, so what good does it do and they just throw the stuff into the bags and heavy things on top of bread and other soft items
Amy February 08, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I think its great that EH now has a plastic bag ban but what about putting recycling bins next to the trash cans in town and in public places like the beach. The more bins out there more people will recycle and be more conscious about recycling and how to do it.
Deborah Klughers February 08, 2012 at 08:25 PM
I have repeatedly asked the Town Board to institute "Recreational Area Recycling".It is actually in TOWN CODE-but they won’t do it.I’ve spoke at Town Board meetings a few times-most recently this past summer-and wrote letters to editors of local papers.WHY can’t we recycle while at public places?IT WILL SAVE MONEY and help conserve natural resources.I’ve explained the cost savings to the Town-to no avail. By the way-it is NOW and has been in East Hampton TOWN CODE!"§ 204-30 Recreational area recycling program established. There is hereby established a program for the separation of designated recyclable materials from solid waste at the town's recreational areas.Participation in said program is mandatory.Failure by a person using the recreational area to participate may render that person liable to penalties set forth in Article IX." So-we can be liable to penalties for not recycling,but the Town won’t provide us with the receptacles to recycle.I've been to many places across our country and in other countries where they have separate receptacles for recycling. It is embarrassing that the Town can’t figure this out. I also proposed a "Plastic Bag Initiative for East Hampton", but they wanted no part of it. Anyway, HORRAH for Mayor Rickenbach! Suffolk County is considering new bag legislation-so maybe that will help.The other alternative is businesses taking the lead themselves. I know of quite a few East Hampton businesses that have a "self-imposed" bag ban.BYOB.
Project GreenBag February 08, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Banning plastic bags is a step in the right direction. However, this also needs to apply to retail stores not just supermarkets. So many plastic bags are tossed away everyday from customers buying clothes, shoes, etc. Project GreenBag is the sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags. 100% organic cotton, biodegradable, and made in San Francisco California. http://www.ProjectGreenBag.com http://www.facebook.com/ProjectGreenBag http://twitter.com/projectgreenbag
Gail Simons February 09, 2012 at 01:26 AM
I love it!!! It IS a step in the right direction. It should go much farther, but progress at a snails pace is pretty typical.
TTTT February 09, 2012 at 01:40 AM
I've been using the recyclable plastic bags that Waldbaums uses for ages. They are stronger and hold more and generally I bag my own groceries (no long line and no mistakes in packing them). And any plastic bags I've gotten shopping elsewhere are used for cat litter, lunches, and a slew of other things around the house. Paper bags bring bugs in the house and just aren't strong - and use trees! So, yay for the new way!
PJ Delia February 09, 2012 at 06:42 PM
A really good first step.

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