Southampton Town’s is kicking off its campaign Earth Day weekend, asking shoppers to sign a pledge to reduce the number of plastic bags they use and recycle the remainder.
The campaign, titled “A Greener Southampton: The Solution Is in the Bag,” begins April 21 at the and . Shoppers and merchants will be invited to sign the pledge and the stores will sponsor activities for children, giveaways and free reusable tote bags for every purchase of $10 or more. Shoppers will receive 5 cents off their shopping bill each subsequent time they reuse a bag.
The event takes place April 21 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Bridgehampton King Kullen and from noon to 2 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Stop & Shop. The pledge can also be signed at the town website, southamptontownny.gov.
While shoppers are asked to reduce, reuse and recycle, merchants are asked to pledge to an array of things:
• Encourage customers to bring their own bags
• Encourage the use of reusable bags
• Use signage to encourage reusable bags and encourage recycling
• Display “A GREENER SOUTHAMPTON” decal in your storefront window
• Agree to display green promotional pieces including Southampton Green Homes Program
• Act as a repository for single-use plastic bags and take to established drop-off centers
• Agree to be featured on the town’s website as a participating business
“Priority number one is reducing plastic bag use and increasing their recycling rate,” said task force Co-Chair Councilwoman Christine Preston Scalera. “Our goal is to increase the number of recycled plastic bags by 15 percent in one year.”
“Providing the public with both more options and more information can encourage voluntary reduction habits,” Scalera continued. “We are looking to decrease the use of plastic bags and increase recycling such that there is ultimately a 100 percent reduction of single use plastic bags in our environment and landfills.”
“Success can be achieved by working with local businesses, whose contributions to date have been commendable,” added Councilman Chris Nuzzi, the Town Board’s liaison to Waste Management and co-chair of the task force.
The kick-off weekend is also designed to highlight the "Plastic Bag Challenge" at local schools, which are competing to collect and recycle the most plastic bags before the end of April. The winning school will receive a bench made out of recycled plastic bags from Trex Company, which produces wood-alternative products. Students will also design campaign posters to be posted at and campaign events.