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Oct 4, 2016 2:33 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Local Artist Starts Online Petition to Ban Plastic Cutlery and Styrofoam Containers in East Hampton

East Hampton Resident Scott Bluedorn, at Georgica Beach, wants the town to take its plastic bag ban a step further to include cutlery and styrofoam. JON WINKLER
Oct 4, 2016 2:47 PM

East Hampton resident Scott Bluedorn is petitioning for East Hampton Town to ban the use of plastic cutlery and styrofoam containers.

Mr. Bluedorn, who creates art pieces using found bits of plastic washed up on local beaches, launched a petition on Change.org last week calling for a ban of “single-use plastic plates/cups/cutlery and styrofoam containers.” The petition states that these plastic and styrofoam products are not biodegradable and contribute to the large amounts of trash that pile up on the beaches of the Hamptons, along with damaging wildlife and releasing dangerous chemicals into the environment.

Mr. Bluedorn’s petition states that the plastic and styrofoam can be replaced with biodegradable or reusable material, including cornstarch-based products, bamboo, paper, metal cutlery or grass.

“I was inspired by reading an article about France banning plastic cutlery, plates, and cups throughout the whole country,” Mr. Bluedorn said in an interview. “East Hampton recently banned plastic bags, so I thought this would be the next logical step.”

Mr. Bluedorn referred to the Town of East Hampton banning all retail shops, including all farm stands and grocery stores, from using “single-use” plastic bags last September. That ban came after the villages of East Hampton and Southampton enacted prohibitions on plastic bags in 2011 and the Town of Southampton also followed suit last year.

Mr. Bluedorn’s petition had reached 471 supporters as of Monday afternoon and he said he hopes that number will soon reach 1,000. Promoting his petition through social media like Facebook and general word of mouth, Mr. Bluedorn said that he has not made contact with any of the Town or Village of East Hampton Board members to further discuss the petition.

“This was kind of, honestly, just a shot in the dark to see how many people are really interested in this idea. I think when I hit 1,000 signatures that it’ll be enough to present to the Town Board to show that this is an issue that needs to be done.”

Mr. Bluedorn said that the next step will be approaching various local businesses, including restaurants, to see if they’d be willing to switch from plastic and styrofoam. He said that many takeout eateries and local delis often use styrofoam containers to package food orders and plastic cutlery for consumers to use on the go.

“I always say to be conscious of what you’re using,” Mr. Bluedorn said. “If you’re getting take-out, bring cutlery with you or just hold on to the stuff that you have instead of just throwing it out. I think styrofoam is useless as a container and contains some seriously harmful chemicals to the environment.”

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said that he was not made aware of Mr. Bluedorn’s petition, though he understands his concerns.

“Scott’s right, those containers are part of the wasting and litter problem in East Hampton and the waste is hard to process,” Mr. Cantwell said. “But this is something that we’d have to take a careful look at to find a solution.”

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Perhaps less photos of Scott and more pictures of his plastic artwork.
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Oct 4, 16 3:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
Cogent comment, TN!

I've said this for years -- 27 East is in dire need of a Photo Editor.

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 4, 16 6:27 PM
Volunteer your efforts!
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Oct 6, 16 5:32 PM
Good grief. Perhaps we need a ban on smug liberal NIMBYs instead. Think of the benefit to the environment by eliminating all the hot air they spew, not to mention the decrease in traffic from all the new ones who move in one week and want to change everything the next week.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Oct 4, 16 8:13 PM
2 members liked this comment
Ban everything! Ban liberals!
By GregBall (19), Costa Mesa, California on Oct 5, 16 5:05 AM
1 member liked this comment
I'm proposing a ban on all bans however such a ban would prevent all subsequent bans from being banned. It would also retroactively ban itself from initially banning bans.
By astevens21 (13), Water Mill on Oct 5, 16 1:02 PM
3 members liked this comment
Trump 2016
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 5, 16 8:14 AM
If Mr. Bluedorn thinks that France has such great ideas why doesn't he move there!

Some of us happen to like things the way they are - we don't need some artist telling us that we shouldn't have plastic cutlery or styrofoam containers floating in the ocean or casually blowing across our beaches before nesting in the dunes. Without trash or waste intermixed with our natural resources we'd have no way to know what we should be appreciating, trash is contrast, it is comforting.

Ban ...more
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Oct 5, 16 11:12 AM
Trash must be your preference judging by your photo...
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Oct 6, 16 5:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Oct 7, 16 7:11 AM
What a waste of time just reading this article has been. Too much time on your hands
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Oct 5, 16 4:05 PM
How much time should one have on their hands?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Oct 5, 16 4:09 PM
Waste of time? Really?!!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Oct 7, 16 7:10 AM
It's a good idea. Why not? This plastic doesn't disintegrate; it takes time and money to remove it from beaches and water. There is no upside to the community by using plastic forks and knives. It's just more expense and more taxes to clean it up from the beaches and the ocean.
By JohnSmith (25), Johnson City, Tennessee on Oct 6, 16 10:10 AM
If you have ever volunteered for the East End Big Spring Clean-Up you know just how serious the mounding problem of non bio-degradable materials is to our wildlife - especially on our beautiful world class beaches. Applaud any efforts to keep the pristine beauty of the area intact.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Oct 6, 16 5:32 PM