The Southampton Town board has voted against holding a public hearing later this month on a proposed ban on plastic bags in retail stores.
The resolution would have set the public hearing for the town board meeting next Thursday. The three Republicans on the board — Nancy Graboski, James Malone and Christopher Nuzzi — defeated the measure.
At the meeting Tuesday, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said the ban would be an enormous step in eliminating plastic bags from the environment. She demonstrated her own reusable bag, which she has been using for six months. The town had said it would run a public education program to get residents ready for the change.
But all three Republicans said the matter should first be discussed with groups aligned with retail businesses.
The Southampton Business Alliance has been calling on the town to first have an educational campaign on the benefits of recycling before enacting the ban. Nuzzi said at the meeting that the campaign should be given a chance to succeed before a ban is implemented. Malone and Graboski agreed.
Councilwoman Bridget Fleming said it was a shame not to put it to a public hearing and let the industry speak on it at the public forum.