On August 4th, East Hampton Village in New York passed a plastic bag ban, joining the Village of South Hampton which approved a similar ban earlier this year. The ban is set to take effect in mid 2012, six months after the law is published, according to an article in the East Hampton Star.
Before the Board voted on the ordinance, numerous community members on both sides stepped up to voice their opinion. Supporters quoted the 80% reduction rate achieved by D.C.’s ban, as well as the 200,000 plastic bags used every hour by Americans, often ending up as litter or in landfills.
Opponents stated that this ordinance would not create a change in consumer behavior. But behavioral change experts have noted that when consumers lack the motivation to choose a target behavior even if they have the opportunity and ability to do so, some regulation must be implemented.
In both New York and California, local governments pay millions each year to clean up plastic bag pollution. In California, the state pays an estimated $25 million each year.
To keep up to date about bag bans locally and around the country, check out our blog.