Ditches Plastic, Offers Paper

Christina Lescano, an employee of the Amagansett I.G.A., with some of the paper bags the store now uses exclusively. Morgan McGivern

    Those who shop at the I.G.A. in Amagansett (also known as Cirillo’s Market) can choose to put their groceries in the paper bags provided or take their own totes. Frances Cirillo, who runs the company from her offices in East Setauket, has discontinued the use of plastic shopping bags in the grocery store altogether . . . and no one even had to ask.
    “Ultimately, it’s the right thing to do,” she said by telephone on Tuesday. “It’s the direction things are going in.”
    The Amagansett supermarket, which has been in the Cirillo family since the early 1970s, made the switch about a month ago.
    East Hampton Village passed a ban on plastic grocery bags at the end of July, emulating the action taken by Southampton Village in April. The latest ban does not go into effect until the beginning of next year, but there has already been talk at board meetings that East Hampton Town may not be far behind.
    However, Ms. Cirillo said, the potentially looming townwide law was not the reason for her voluntary compliance.
    “It’s good for the environment,” she said. “It’s good for our grandchildren. It’s the way to go.”
    She said that paper bags are slightly more expensive — around 11 cents each, compared to “pennies” for plastic — but she did not sound fazed in the least about it.
    “When you know you’re doing the right thing for yourself, for your children, for the environment, it doesn’t matter as much,” she said.
    “Surprised, but positive,” is how Eric Morris of East Hampton, one of the Amagansett store’s managers, characterized the reaction of customers who have noticed the change. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”
    The store’s other manager, Gustavo Renata, said that reviews on the plastic ban have been mixed. “For some people, it’s harder to change,” he said.