The members of Southampton Village’s environmental sustainability committee, Southampton Advocates for the Village Environment, or SAVE, were recognized by the New York State Department of Conservation last week for their work to institute a plastic bag ban.
SAVE successfully lobbied the Southampton Village Board to approve a ban on plastic shopping and take-out bags in 2011, the first such ban in New York State. Consumers are encouraged to use reusable shopping bags instead.
“The Village of Southampton has set an example for municipalities and businesses across New York,” the DEC states. “Through a successful campaign that enlisted support from retailers and the entire village community, the village’s ordinance has achieved a 98 percent compliance rate by retailers, restaurants and stores, which translates into the elimination of at least 110,000 plastic shopping bags annually. The streets and beaches of the Village of Southampton are no longer littered with plastic bags, and the quality of the local marine waters has improved significantly.”
SAVE’s program was one of eight winners at the DEC’s 10th annual Environmental Excellence Awards Celebration held in Schenectady. The awards took place at Price Chopper in its Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) gold certified headquarters.
“Not only are we recognizing eight outstanding organizations during this milestone event, but we are honoring the collective accomplishments of 52 winners that have been awarded since 2004,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “These inspiring success stories have created a greater awareness of environmental sustainability and have contributed to a stronger economy through cost-effective innovations.”