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Plastic bag ban now in effect in Patchogue Village

bag-ban

Patchogue Village’s ban on single-use, non-recyclable plastic bags goes into effect Monday, Sept. 6.

This comes about 15 months after the Village Board approved the ban in a split vote last June.

Trustee Joe Keyes, who proposed the measure, said he hopes other towns and villages look to Patchogue as a leader on the issue of bag pollution.

“We are a waterfront community, and these bags bring damage and harm … to marine wildlife, fish and turtles, while clogging drains and affecting our draining systems. They don’t go away for a long time and they’re nothing but harmful to the environment,” Keyes said.

“We are a village that people are paying attention to,” he continued, “so I think if we can send a message out that we’re willing to do something about it, I think that will be helpful in changing mindsets.”

Under the new law, village merchants can no longer distribute plastic bags that are less than  2.25 mil in thickness, Keyes said, with some exceptions such as plastic bags that carry potential contaminants, or are used for live animals such as bait.

All paper bags must be at least 40 percent post-consumer recycled content.

The law was delayed to allow local merchants, some of whom opposed the law, according to news reports, to make other provisions.

To help residents adjust, Patchogue Village will be issuing one free reusable bag per household.

Those bags, which are blue and contain the village’s seal along with the slogan, “We bag to differ,” are available at Village Hall at 14 Baker Street.

Southampton and East Hampton towns banned plastic bans last year as well, and Southampton Village did so in April of 2011, according to The Southampton Press website, 27east.com.

From Channel 12 Long Island: Suffolk expected to pass 5-cent fee for bags

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com