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Source: Long Island Business News

Suffolk to vote on 'bring your own bag' law


Posted: September 8, 2016
Originally Published: September 7, 2016

Suffolk lawmakers are expected to vote Wednesday on “bring your own bag” legislation aimed at reducing plastic and paper bag waste.

As an incentive to encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags to stores, the law would also place a 5-cent fee on paper and plastic bags.

Leg. William Spencer, D-Centerport, said the county has “an obligation to understand how our habits impact our cherished environment and ultimately our economy and way of life.”

“This legislation aims to reduce the negative environmental impacts that thin, single-use plastic bags have when they litter our highways and waterways, compromise the health of our marine life and cost the taxpayers to clean them up,” he added.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said the legislation “would reduce plastic bag use by 60 percent or more and that will make our communities and our bays cleaner and greener, and save us money.”

Not everyone supports the bill, however, with opponents seeing the fee as the 5-cent per bag as part of a growing number of taxes and fees that make life more expensive for consumers.

Lawmakers are also deciding on an education bill so that residents and businesses are prepared to switch to reusable bags. If the bill passes, the law would go into effect in Jan. 1, 2018.