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Patchogue to vote on proposal to ban single-use plastic shopping bags

A view of Patchogue Village Hall, located at

A view of Patchogue Village Hall, located at 14 Baker St., on April 20, 2012. Credit: Carl Corry

The Patchogue Village board of trustees votes Monday on whether to ban single-use plastic shopping bags in an effort to make the community more environment-friendly.

The vote is to come after the public hearing portion of the regular board meeting.

While there hasn't been much opposition from businesses or residents, Village Trustee Joseph Keyes said in an interview that he isn't sure how the board will vote.

"I don't really know. I know each member will vote for what they believe is right for village residents," said Keyes, who proposed the ban.

Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri said he hasn't decided how he will vote. "I'm very conflicted," he said. "One day it's a great idea, and other times I feel it's a pressure on the merchants."

Under the ban, no single-use plastic bags would be allowed at village businesses other than the small bags used in produce sections of grocery stores.

"Part of this is about changing mindsets and to start thinking of ways to help the environment," Keyes said. "The purpose is to encourage people to recycle."

Southampton and East Hampton towns have approved similar bans. Southampton's ban went into effect last month. East Hampton's starts Sept. 22.

If Patchogue approves a ban, the village is expected to team with the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce to provide each household with at least one reusable bag and notify local business about the law.

Bravo Supermarket owner Jose Bonilla opposes the ban. Through a representative, he told the board that he fears increased paper bag costs and an unfair advantage to his competitors. But Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, has said banning single-use plastic bags is becoming more common.

Monday's meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Village Hall.

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