Surfrider Foundation’s Eastern Long Island Chapter works on the ground with volunteers to educate the public about the impacts of plastic pollution on our beaches, wildlife, and human health. As our Rise Above Plastics programs (Strawless Summer, Beach Cleanups) have been gaining momentum, our local, county, and state government are taking action to reduce plastic pollution from the source.

1. East Hampton Prohibits the Use of Polystyrene Foam

This was voted in on January 17th, 2019 and will be effective on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2019.

RES-2019-169 ” § 83-3. Restriction on Polystyrene Items: 

A.              “No food service establishment or store shall possess, sell, or offer for use single service articles that consist of expanded polystyrene including, but not limited to, providing food in single service articles that consist of expanded polystyrene.  This subdivision shall not apply to (i) expanded polystyrene containers used for prepackaged food that have been filled and sealed prior to receipt by the food service establishment or store; (ii) expanded polystyrene containers used to store raw meat, pork, fish, seafood or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar retail appliance; or (iii) expanded polystyrene containers used for wholesale fish or seafood shipments outside of the Town of East Hampton.

B.              No manufacturer or store shall sell or offer for sale polystyrene loose fill packaging or polystyrene coolers in the Town of East Hampton.”

2. East Hampton Banned the Intentional Release of Balloons

This was voted in on February 7th, 2019, effective immediately.

RES-2019-266 § 84-2. Restriction on Intentional Release of Balloons:

“No person shall intentionally release or dispose of any balloon, except in public receptacles, in authorized private receptacles, or in designated areas within Town of East Hampton recycling centers

No person, firm, corporation or other entity shall organize the release of, condone the release of, or intentionally cause to be released, any balloon.”

3 & 4. Southampton Town Prohibits Polystyrene Foam and Plastic Straws (2 victories)!

This law was voted in on February 12th, 2019 and will be effective on May 8th, 2019.

RES-2019-203 §212-3 Restriction on expanded polystyrene.
A. No food service establishment, mobile food commissary, or store shall possess, sell, or offer for use single service articles that consist of expanded polystyrene, including, but not limited to, providing food in single service articles or containers that consist of expanded polystyrene. This subsection shall not apply to:
(i) Expanded polystyrene containers used for prepackaged food that have been filled and sealed prior to receipt by the food service establishment, mobile food commissary, or store; or
(ii) Expanded polystyrene containers used to store raw meat, pork, fish, seafood or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar retail appliance.
B. No manufacturer or store shall use or offer for sale polystyrene loose fill packaging or coolers made of expanded polystyrene in the Town.
C. The restrictions set forth in § 212-3 (A) through (B) shall become operative on May 8, 2019, so as to allow retail establishments a period of time within which to dispose of their existing inventory of polystyrene items and convert to alternative packaging materials.

§212-4 Restriction on Straws and Stirrers.
A. All Food Service Establishments and Beverage Providers in the Town of Southampton shall provide straws and stirrers only upon request.
B. All straws and stirrers provided shall be made of non-plastic materials.
C. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Food Service Establishments and Beverage Providers may possess up to 20 plastic straws for use only by persons who specifically require them.

Plastic Legislation on the County-Level

This week, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn and the Suffolk County Single Use Plastics Reduction Task Force introduced three bills that seek to reduce. These laws:

  1. Require straws be given upon request only throughout Suffolk County, and the straws that are given are backyard biodegradable.
  2. Prohibit the sale and use of polystyrene foam throughout Suffolk County.
  3. Require Suffolk County parks/establishments/buildings to have water bottle refill stations.

Read more about these laws in this Newsday article. There will be an opportunity for public comment of local laws at the Suffolk County Legislature General Meeting on March 5th. Click here for more information.

New York State Plastic Bag Law (ACTION ALERT)!

Governor Cuomo is proposing a ban on plastic bags. However, we have seen in other parts of the country that a straight plastic bag ban can have severe unintended consequences as consumer choices shift to rampant use of paper bags or possibly even thicker plastic bags. 

As written, Surfrider Foundation does not supporting the Governor’s proposal and we are asking that the Governor considers a bill that correctly places a fee on paper and reusable bagswith a ban on plastic bags.

Surfrider Foundation rather supports Senator Kaminsky’s bill, S 95, which follows the proven formula of banning thin plastic bags while putting a fee of 10 to 25 cents on paper or reusable bags. This is a proven method to effectively mitigate plastic bag pollution and this is what Surfrider recommends the Governor consider as the standard for the state of New York. Sign the action alert – a few clicks can make a huge difference..

Take a few moments and help us pass a plastic bag ban that works!

Do you like what we’re doing? Come to one of our upcoming events, or give a donation to help support clean water & healthy beaches.