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CCE IN THE NEWS

Source: Long-Islander News

Suffolk's Plastic Bag Ban Gets Public Support

BY JANO TANTONGCO

Posted: April 4, 2016
Originally Published: March 31, 2016

CCE's Adrienne Esposito with Suffolk Legislator William Spencer and students.

Selden Middle School students are pictured with Adrienne Esposito, executive director for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment; Suffolk Legislator William Spencer; and Suffolk Legislator Tom Muratore. Photo/Suffolk County

To Suffolk Legislator William Spencer (D-Centerport), his proposal to ban the use of single-use plastic bags in stores across the county is “almost a no brainer.”

After a public hearing on the proposal held last week, Spencer and the rest of the Suffolk Legislature learned that many members of the public feel the same way.

More than 50 people spoke in favor of the ban during the four-and-a-half hour hearing. Spencer, lead sponsor of the bill, said Wednesday that this one was one of the longest hearings in the county's history.

“This is something the majority of the business community and our constituents support,” Spencer said.

Linda Henninger, vice president of the Kings Park Civic Association, one of the speakers during the hearing, “unreservedly” agreed with Spencer’s proposal.

“Our highways and streets are littered with these bags,” said Henninger, who spoke on behalf of the association. “Tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals and turtles are killed every year from the plastic bag litter in the marine environment.”

There were five people who spoke against the proposed ban, including Jon Greenfield, owner of Greenfield’s ShopRite in Commack.

Greenfield said he opposes the ban because the use paper bags at the same rate as plastic bags would reap heavy environmental tolls.