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Suffolk Lawmakers To Vote On Plastic Bag Surcharge

Keng Susumpow

Suffolk County legislators are voting Wednesday night on whether to add a 5-cent fee on plastic and paper bags for shoppers.  

Advocates like Adrienne Esposito from Citizens Campaign for the Environment say that plastic bag pollution is rampant on Long Island and costs taxpayers money to clean up.  

“The bottom line is that plastic bags are a remnant of the past and reusable bags are the hope of the future. We need to change our behavior and kind of retrain ourselves simply to bring our own bag.”  

Legislator William Spencer, who sponsored the bill, says he tried to ban bags earlier this year but faced opposition from unions, advocates of the supermarket industry and other lawmakers.

New York City will have a similar fee that will take effect in February 2017. If Suffolk’s bill passes, the fee will start in January 2018.

In an update to this story, the bill passed Wednesday night by a vote of 13-4.

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