A week after a in Southampton Village, business owners and managers expressed mixed reactions to the prohibition: some have not been effected at all, some said the effect has been so-so, while others say the ban could be bad for business.
Tony Valle, owner of , said that at first he thought it would be problematic, though he's seen in a short week that the measure hasn't had as much of an effect on his bottom line as he originally thought it would.
"At first I thought it would be problematic," he said, adding that his paper bags cost roughly twice the amount of the plastic "take-out" bags. "But the adjustment has actually been amazing. People are already bringing their own bags in with them."
Since it's "off-season" in the village at this time of year, Valle said that the high percentage of customers aware and willing to bring in their own bags may be higher than it would have been had the ban started in summer.
Several stores downtown reported that they have always used paper bags, so the ban has not affected them at all.
The ban applies to the thinner, smaller bags typical of pharmacies, grocery stores, and take-out food places. According to the text of the legislation banning the bags - which passed in late April - "these [non-biodegradable plastic] bags last hundreds of years in landfills and are a potential source of harmful chemicals when they do break down."
Plastic bags that are at least 2.25 millimeters thick are considered OK to hand out.
With the new regulation in effect, some local businesses were still adapting and will remain adapting, finding out the most cost effective way to contain clientele and keeping a steady bottom line.
Dennis Schmidt, owner of , said the cost of paying for paper bags instead of the cheaper plastic alternative "ultimately gets passed on" to the customer, it's just a matter of how and how much. While plastic bags cost him one to two cents, Schmidt said his paper bags have been running five ot six cents a piece.
Schmidt employees are currently playing with a rotation of different sizes of bags, charging customers a quarter for the largest bags which come with handles. The rest, for now, are free.
"We'll see what the costs end up being and keep trying until we find a way that works for us," he said.
Before the law went into effect, Schmidt said he gave out 1,000 re-usable cloth bags for free in the hopes that returning customers wouldn't need bags at all. He guessed 20 percent of his clientele is already using them, though he echoed Valle's sentiments in saying that those are mostly locals who are most aware of the ban.
Walking out of 's, Tamara Von Schenk - a London native who owns a home in Southampton - said the ban was news to her, though she didn't mind paying the extra five cents Waldbaum's is charging for paper bags, which they are subsequently donating to the Peconic Land Trust.
"But next time I'll bring my own," she said.