Suffolk weighs plastic bag ban in grocery stores

The proposed bill would ban single-use plastic bags while imposing a 10-cent charge to purchase paper bags, and a minimum of 10 cents to purchase reusable bags.

The proposed bill would ban single-use plastic bags while imposing a 10-cent charge to purchase paper bags, and a minimum of 10 cents to purchase reusable bags. (6/1/16)

HAUPPAUGE - Dozens of Suffolk residents testified at the Legislature's public hearing Wednesday on a proposal to ban plastic bags at stores in the county.

The proposed bill would ban single-use plastic bags while imposing a 10-cent charge to purchase paper bags, and a minimum of 10 cents to purchase reusable bags.

Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, supports the bill.

"Imagine no more plastic bag litter along the roadways, dangling from trees, covering beaches. We think that's the future of Long Island," says Esposito.

John Greenfield, the owner of a ShopRite in Commack, does not oppose the law, but says Suffolk should take its cue from New York City. Their law, which takes effect later this year, doesn't ban plastic, but imposes a 5-cent charge for both plastic and paper bags. He says this will buy grocers time to make a more permanent move down the road.  

If approved, the legislation would take effect on Jan. 1, 2018. A vote is scheduled for Suffolk's health committee later this month.

 

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