Suffolk bag fee takes effect Jan. 1

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FORT SALONGA -

Suffolk shoppers will have to pay starting Monday if they don’t bring their own bag to certain stores.

Starting Jan. 1, cashiers will count every plastic or paper bag a customer uses, enter it into the system and print out the total on your receipt. The new fee is 5 cents per bag. Shoppers will have to pay the fee at all grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and retail outlets. The only exemptions are food establishments, such as restaurants.

The only way to avoid the fee is to bring your own reuseable bag.

Shoppers who spoke to News 12 Long Island Friday were split on the new policy, some saying it would cost them a small fortune when added up but others calling it a great deed for the environment.

Suffolk Legislator Robert Trotta was against the new fee, saying it’s just charging taxpayers again.

“It's a death by a dozen cuts, making it harder and harder to live in this county,” he says, adding that the bags should have been banned entirely if the new fee was for environmental reasons.

The stores keep the 5 cents. The state and county will collect the sales tax on it.

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