On Monday, the board of trustees unanimously passed a local law to regulate the use of plastic carry-out bags, making Sea Cliff the first village in Nassau County to enact such an ordinance.
Earlier this year, the village’s Environmental Conservation Commission, chaired by Trustee Dina Epstein, worked with All Our Energy, a nonprofit environmental group, to host several screenings of the movie “Bag It” to encourage passage of legislation that would limit plastic pollution in Sea Cliff. The City of Long Beach adopted a similar ordinance last April, and since then has seen a 75 percent reduction in the use of plastic bags in its major supermarkets.
Before the meeting, residents and representatives of All Our Energy gathered in front of Village Hall to voice their support for the “bring your own bag” campaign. Lynbrook resident Susan Brockmann, who is advocating for the same statute in her home village, also attended, decked out in a dress made of 500 plastic bags, the number the average person uses in a year.
The board held a public hearing to air residents’ opinions on whether to amend village code and implement the law. “The ordinance allows merchants to impose a 5-cent fee on the customer for each plastic bag provided,” Epstein said. “A letter was sent out alerting local businesses, ex-plaining the law.” She added that dry-cleaning services, prescription items and liquor stores are exempt from the ordinance.
Residents made clear their support for the measure on Monday. Maria Steiglitz, of Sea Cliff, called the initiative “a wonderful idea” and recommended that businesses provide their customers with reusable craft and string bags. People can buy reusable bags at K. DiResta Collective.