Plastic Bag Ban Comes into Effect Tuesday in East Hampton, Montauk

Plastic bags are getting the ax in East Hampton.
Plastic bags are getting the ax in East Hampton. Photo credit: sunstock/iStock/Thinkstock

East Hampton Town’s ban on single-use plastic shopping and take-out bags will go into effect on Tuesday, September 22.

The ban is designed to keep plastic out of landfills and from littering local streets and waters, where it is unsightly and poses a danger to wildlife.

The town’s law prohibit retail establishments from using certain plastic bags for at checkout, namely high density polyethylene (HDPE) bags. The ban does not apply to bags that are 28 by 36 inches or larger, or bags made out of durable plastic, at least 2.25 mils thick. The ban does not apple to produce bags. Paper bags, which will still be permitted, must be 100% recyclable and display the words “reusable” and “recyclable.”

Penalties for violating the ban are a fine not to exceed $1,000 or up to 15 days in jail.

East Hampton Town, which encompasses Springs, Northwest Woods, Amagansett and Montauk, joins Southampton Town, Southampton Village, East Hampton Village, Sagaponack Village, Quogue Village and Sag Harbor Village in banning plastic bags.

The stated goal is to eliminate single-use plastic bags and to encourage residents to bring their own reusable bags.

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

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