The Tuckahoe Village Board will vote tonight on whether to ban lightweight bags at retail stores after it holds its third public hearing on the proposal at 8 p.m. at Village Hall, 65 Main St.
Tuckahoe would follow the City of Rye and villages of Mamaroneck and Larchmont in asking shoppers to bring their own bags and requiring merchants to use either paper or heavyweight, reusable plastic bags. The Town of Mamaroneck, which is also considering a ban, is facing heavy opposition from the grocery industry and Stop & Shop, the biggest supermarket in town.
Tuckahoe Trustee Stephen Quigley, the sponsor of the proposal, said he’s hopefull the ban will become law. “Significantly, in two well-publicized public hearings, we’ve only had one business protest it,” he said. “To me, the silence is a strong factor that the business community is not concerned and maybe is even in support of it.”
The protester, Deborah Scannell of Cafe 72, said she still opposes the proposal because she relies on plastic bags to serve her carryout customers. “Most people usually come in for lunch and breakfast. They aren’t going to bring their own bags. It’s not like going food shopping at the store,” she said.
Paper bags aren’t an adequate replacement, she contends. “Paper costs three times the amount of the plastic bag. It’s more difficult to carry. They don’t have a handle. And it doesn’t fit a to-go tray for lunch,” she said.
Scannell questioned why the board is even raising the issue, considering the sluggish economy. “I understand where they are coming from, but it’s a difficult situation. I think there are more important things to worry about in the Village of Tuckahoe than banning plastic bags now,” she said.
Quigley said that similar concerns have come up in discussions on the board. “Everybody agrees it’s a great idea that we shouldn’t have plastic bags, but the biggest thing against it is that it’s the government telling us what to do. The idea is we should all be doing this on our own,” he said.
PHOTO: Steve Wincele hands a customer a plastic bag at Epstein’s in Tuckahoe. File photo by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News