Greenport Village is set to become a case study for coastal communities around the country in terms of reducing plastic waste at local eateries.
The Product Stewardship Institute, which examines the environmental, health and safety impacts of consumer products, will evaluate how four Greenport businesses — Alice’s Fish Market, Bruce & Son, Lucharitos and Tikal.1 — can cut down on common single-use plastics that may wind up on beaches or in the water.
“Our goal is not only to help with environmental health here, but also public health because — I’m sure you’re all aware — they’re intertwined,” Vivian Fuhrman of PSI said at Tuesday’s Town Board work session.
The group will work with businesses to reduce their plastic footprint. The town and village will then decide whether they want to implement those policies and perhaps become a model for other waterfront communities, Ms. Fuhrman said.
It will also help businesses develop recommendations for reducing plastic and will meet with the municipalities again this fall to discuss results and lessons learned during the spring and summer, said Megan Byer of PSI. Ms. Fuhrman and Ms. Byer will later develop a toolkit that will be distributed nationally and include the model recommendations — not necessarily legislation — and a case study of the local businesses.
PSI selected Greenport because it was looking for a coastal community that had several restaurants in a concentrated area located a relatively short distance from the coast, Ms. Fuhrman said.
“I think that there’s a great reputation here,” she said. “You guys have a bustling tourist industry in the summer. It’s known to be a beautiful community, so if people think that they can contribute to beautifying it even more and keeping that alive for their kids, that’s part of this goal — to strengthen the community itself.”
File photo: Lucharitos in Greenport. (Credit: The Suffolk Times)