With Suffolk County now discussing a ban on single-use plastic bags, Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell and other board members who had declined to take up the issue at the local level voiced support for the countywide legislation.
The proposed law would prohibit retail stores from distributing plastic bags to customers, although paper bags would still be allowed for the time being and could be sold for 10 cents.
Mr. Russell had opposed a plastic bag ban that affected only Southold Town, saying local legislation would put North Fork businesses at a disadvantage compared to their nearby competitors, who could continue using plastic bags.
“I was concerned about a level playing field,” he said. “This seems to address that concern.”
Mr. Russell also said he believes the debate over paper or plastic bags isn’t over, noting that paper bags are also detrimental to the environment.
“I have faith in the private market to respond down the road and produce a reasonable alternative,” he said.
Town Board members Jill Doherty, Louisa Evans and Bob Ghosio also said at the meeting they would support the countywide ban.
A first public hearing on the proposed law was held in Hauppague Tuesday. A second hearing on the law is set for April.