Since 2012, Southampton Town officials have stepped-up efforts to promote reusable shopping bags instead of single-use plastic bags, and increase their recycling rates.
On Saturday July 20, the town’s Plastic Bag Education Task Force hosted a reusable tote bag giveaway at the three of the towns beaches — including Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack — from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. Councilwoman Christine Scalera, the town board’s co-liaison to the group, said the project was a joint undertaking with the Hampton Jitney, who helped underwrite the cost of over 500 reusable bags. Volunteers with the Southampton Town Youth Bureau also assisted with the preparation, filling them with giveaways courtesy of Hampton Coffee Company, Southampton Business Alliance, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and information about the municipality’s various sustainability efforts.
“The day was a great success,” said Scalera, adding that this was our second year holding the beach bag giveaway event. “We had nearly 500 people sign the pledge, committing to reduce, reuse, and recycle their plastic bags and bring their own bags when shopping.”
“There was great feedback and people were very enthusiastic about joining in the effort,” said Councilman Chris Nuzzi, the Task Force’s other liaison. “We had a lot of people approach the table just to tell us that they signed up for our program in the past, and that they’ve since switched from plastic to reusable bags.”
Like last summer, the Hampton Jitney is also including information about the initiative in over 1,000 promotional giveaway bags that they will be handing out to customers on board their buses in July and August.
“The East End’s population more than doubles in the summer so it’s also important to reach out to those visiting our area, and provide them with educational information about how they can take part in this effort,” said Nuzzi.
The Plastic Bag Education Task Force is currently planning additional events and will be coordinating educational efforts with the schools in the fall.
“We’ve had a great response so far and are excited to continue to pursue our goals with the hope of one day eliminating single-use plastic bags from our environment and landfills,”