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DEC Honors Southampton Village Group for Plastic Bag Ban

Winners announced at the 10th annual Environmental Excellence Awards celebration.

Credit: Courtesy of the DEC
Credit: Courtesy of the DEC
Among the eight organizations recognized at the 10th annual New York State Environmental Excellence Awards celebration this week was the group that led the plastic bag ban in Southampton Village. 

Southampton Advocates for the Village Environment, known as SAVE, is a small, volunteer committee that promoted the legislation prohibiting the use of plastic bags in the village, the first municipal program to prohibit single-use, plastic, grocery-sized shopping bags.

The celebration was held on Tuesday at Price Chopper's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design-gold certified headquarters in Schenectady. 

"The Village of Southampton has set an example for municipalities and businesses across New York," the DEC said in a statement. "Through a successful campaign that enlisted support from retailers and the entire village community, the village's ordinance has achieved a 98 percent compliance rate by retailers, restaurants and stores, which translates into the elimination of at least 110,000 plastic shopping bags annually. The streets and beaches of the Village of Southampton are no longer littered with plastic bags, and the quality of the local marine waters has improved significantly."

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens presented the awards in recognition of each organization's programs and commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility and economic viability.

"Not only are we recognizing eight outstanding organizations during this milestone event, but we are honoring the collective accomplishments of 52 winners that have been awarded since 2004," Martens said. "These inspiring success stories have created a greater awareness of environmental sustainability and have contributed to a stronger economy through cost-effective innovations."

The winners also included the first commercial-scale urban, roof-top greenhouse; a small and unique environmental education center empowering students to be future environmental leaders; and a statewide post-flood emergency stream intervention program.

pillpoppinpuppy December 14, 2013 at 06:59 AM
Suppose you are lucky enough to get the groceries home without the paper bags tearing, causing you to break some of your items, resulting in a return trip in your fossil fuel burning vehicle to purchase items the manufacturing of which consumes a lot of energy. The paper bags don't fall from the sky. Trees have to be cut down to make them, a process which consumes fossil fuels...logging trucks, worker travel miles in fossil fuel burning cars, chain saws, pulp mills. More trucks to haul the paper bag bundles to distribution centers, etc. Logging trucks damage roads, tractor trailers damage roads. The roads have to be repaired or repaved more often with a paper bag world than a plastic bag world. The means asphalt. Asphalt doesn't fall from the sky. In other words, there is a reason why 99.9% of the country uses plastic bags, not to mention the convenience to consumers. Right, give them a medal.
Barbara Goldowsky December 14, 2013 at 09:34 AM
Have you heard of fabric or heavy plastic tote bags that can be used many times? Also, insulated shopping bags that keep your perishables cold until you get home? None of these enters the waste stream after just one use. When you go to a beach picnic, you bring your food and drinks in re-usable baskets or totes. Why not do the same for the grocery store? Some businesses even give you free shopping bags. In my opinion, the Committee did a good thing.
Faustina December 14, 2013 at 09:36 AM
The DEC is hardly the organization to be giving out "Environmental Excellence" awards; it is negligent, corrupt and the single entity that enables pollution and worse on the east end. This is small time public relations. Try calling them on a real problem.
pillpoppinpuppy December 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM
" fabric or heavy plastic tote bags " -- what about bacteria, fungus, mold that grows on these bags over time? Pseudomonas and staphylococcus is being found everywhere in public places, e.g., on shopping cart handles. Then you touch your fabric or heavy plastic tote bags and the cycle continues until you need to get your Obamacaid.
pillpoppinpuppy December 14, 2013 at 10:06 AM
...and Barbara should recognize revisionist fairy tales for adults when she sees them. Substituting plastic bags for paper in the name of environmental purity is one of them.
Barbara Goldowsky December 14, 2013 at 12:31 PM
...Oh and I recognize my book blurb. Thanks for reading it, or at least looking it up!
Meadow Lane December 14, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Bravo! Well done and congrats to our SAVE committee. You exemplify the saying "Think Globally and Act Locally"! What an honor for our village, county and State.
Faustina December 14, 2013 at 05:01 PM
More like think locally and fantasize globally.
Meadow Lane December 14, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Faustina is the lonely kermudgeon who can't see the good in people it appears from her litany of unhappy scripts.
Barbara Goldowsky December 14, 2013 at 06:27 PM
We should remember that it was the SAVE committee that was being praised, not the DEC. Whatever you think of the agency, the focus was on citizen efforts. The DEC did not mandate these people to take action. So what if DEC gets a tiny bit of good publicity for a change? Be generous, it's the season.
Faustina December 14, 2013 at 07:30 PM
As usual "Meadow Lane" dives for the personal.
Meadow Lane December 14, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Meow...
Faustina December 15, 2013 at 10:54 AM
I love it. You comment on the DEC and you are called a "kermudgeon" (curmedgeon is the correct spelling). And a"lonely" one at that. Interesting that this known sycophant writes "Meow" like a pussy catbut never barks like an old dog.
Barbara Goldowsky December 15, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Curmudgeon-- according to Webster's New World Dictionary
christie nicolle December 16, 2013 at 10:10 AM
pillpoppinpuppy, you are hilarious, you get a medal.
Patchogue Snoop December 22, 2013 at 07:35 AM
Right on Faustina! He the DEC is great kicking in doors and stealing fish from fisherman, illegally selling them and stealing the money from the state for parties, boats that are never to be found in enforcement but may be seen cruising around our bays. They will bring yo to your knees for cutting a twig down to build your homw all undr the guise of saving the environment but don't consider the cumulative effect of hundreds of thousdands of homes being built on our water fronts. Real scientific isn't it? To me our state is a joke, period.

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