A Token for Being Green


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Local businesses are trying different strategies to cope with the ban on single-use plastic bags that goes into effect in Sag Harbor Village on Monday, June 1.

But Schiavoni’s Market, the village’s IGA grocery store, has come up with an idea that should appeal to their customers’ desire to be green and charitable at the same time while reducing extra fees for them.

Customers who bring their own bags will get a token, valued at 10 cents, which can be deposited at the store and converted into a weekly donation to the Sag Harbor Food Pantry. Customers who use paper bags will be asked to pay a fee of 10 cents, whether they need one bag or 10 bags when they do their shopping.

The store is also offering a variety of bag options. You can buy a heavy duty cotton tote for $8.50, a cotton fishnet bag for $5, or a recycled nylon mesh bag for $1.49.

The store aims to please everybody. Customers who absolutely can’t live without plastic can buy heavy duty reusable plastic bags for 10 cents apiece.



  1. The misguided paper bag hysteria has reached Sag Harbor. Towns, cities and states have banned paper bags across the U.S. in an effort to be more environmentally responsible, without doing some basic research that shows over and over again that paper bags have a far greater impact on the environment than their plastic counterpart. Recycled paper is generally not durable enough to be used as a grocery shopping bag, so virgin pulp is required. Paper bags are far heavier than plastic, it takes seven trucks to transport two million paper bags, versus one truck to carry two million plastic bags. Paper bag production consumes twice the energy and emits 3 times the volume of greenhouse gases than the production of plastic bags. We all feel greener using paper but it is the exact opposite that is true. I would save all of my plastic shopping bags and use them as garbage bags and for organics bound for compost. Today at IGA when issued a paper bag I had to go back and buy garbage bags which I haven’t done in ages. Sag Harbor has increased my carbon footprint with this ban. Early adopters of the plastic bag bans internationally have begun to switch back to plastic as their sanitation and landfill networks have become overwhelmed with the massive volume of paper. Ironically this is precisely why the plastic bag was invented in the 1970?s.