Happy Valentine’s Day to the Planet

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Happy V-Day everyone. Though I’m not much for the manufactured card-and-chocolates drive behind the day, I do appreciate and honor love in its forms. And I absolutely heart that Southampton Town has just voted in a plastic straw- and polystyrene product ban, which is basically a love letter to the environment.

As of May 8, food establishments in the Town of Southampton will be prohibited from offering plastic straws, stirrers and containers made of polystyrene such as “clamshells”, used for packaging. Alternatives such as sturdy cardboard, stainless steel or bamboo products will be just fine.

The new law, first proposed by Councilwoman Julie Lofstad, was recommended by the Town’s Sustainability Committee which estimates that residents and visitors to the Town of Southampton discard nearly 20 million plastic straws and 8 million polystyrene cups per year, much of which washes up along the Town’s beaches.

“This may be a small step but it’s a very important step,” said Councilwoman Lofstad. “Our environment is everything to us and anything we can do that’s not going to have harmful impacts on our businesses and residents is a no-brainer for me.”

The Sustainability Committee polled 85 food establishments and found 82 supported the ban, some had already stopped offering polystyrene “to go” containers.

Under the law, restaurants will be permitted to keep a small number of plastic straws on hand for those with physical disabilities who require plastic straws.

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