RIVERHEAD - Suffolk lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that will charge customers a 5-cent fee for every plastic or paper bag they use at store checkouts.
The 5-cent bag fee will apply to grocery stores as well as convenience stores, delis, bagel shops and clothing stores in some cases.
The bill passed with 13 votes in favor, 4 against, 1 pass and 1 absent. Supporters say it will reduce litter and protect the environment.
Legislator William Spencer says he's been working on the bill for six months and says it's time for those one-time use bags to go, with some exceptions.
"We're excluding things such as bags for poultry or prescriptions or dry cleaning bags," says Spencer.
The bill will go into effect in January 2018.