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Victory! Skip the Stuff passes in East Hampton Village

We are STOKED to share that East Hampton Village just made moves to reduce plastic waste!

Today, April 19, the East Hampton Village Trustees passed and carried Resolution #311-2024, aka Skip the Stuff! They will amend Chapter 231 to increase restrictions on plastic utensils, condiment packets, napkins, and other takeout accessories, so restaurants have to make them available by request only. This amendment will be effective 180 days after the law was introduced, which brings us to September 1, 2024.

"Skip the Stuff" is a movement started by the nonprofit, Upstream Solutions. It has already passed in many locations including Chicago, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Ulster County, NY, to name a few. We were motivated by the recent policy that passed in New York City, and are excited to bring the first Skip the Stuff to Long Island. 

From now until September, restaurants will have to train their staff to change their habits of including extra "stuff" in every takeout order. They will also have to update any third-party delivery apps to include an option for customers to add utensils or condiments to their orders. Finally, customers will have to get used to asking for "stuff" if needed. Customers can also help reinforce the new idea by refusing any "stuff" if they are accidentally included in their takeout order by mistake. 

This policy (on page 81) will be enforced by the Village Building Department and Building Inspectors starting this fall. Any restaurant or delivery app that fails to follow the new law will receive a warning through a Notice of Non-compliance and 60 days to correct it. Then, businesses are subject to penalties: $50 for their first violation, $150 for their second on a different day within 12 months, and $250 for each subsequent violation.  

We are so excited that the East Hampton Village board made this incredible move for our ocean, waves, and beaches -- just in time for Earth Day! While we believe that we can (and should) take personal actions to reduce plastic, we know that passing policies is the most effective way to prevent plastic at the source.  

Thank you to Deputy Mayor Minardi and the rest of the Village Board for working with us on this. And thank you to everyone who wrote letters, made signs, showed up to a public meeting, and/or shared  testimony. Your show of support really helps and we could not do this without you!

We are incredibly inspired to keep this campaign going, and we will be taking this to other municipalities next. Stay tuned! 

1 Surfrider volunteers gather to show support for the first hearing at the East Hampton Village trustees meeting in December 2023.
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2 Our chapter's Vice Chair presenting Skip the Stuff to East Hampton Village trustees.
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3 Surfrider representatives getting ready to share testimony at the East Hampton Village Trustee meeting, December 2023.
4 Continued representation by Surfrider at the second public hearing in East Hampton Village, January 2024.
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5 Several student groups presented to the East Hampton Village Trustees, including the local Girl Scout Troop, and students from the East Hampton High School Environmental Club, East Hampton Middle School Surfrider Club, The Ross School Surfrider Club, and the Amagansett School.