State's plastic bag ban to begin March 1

Posted: Updated:

Starting in a few weeks, throw-away plastic bags will no longer be available at supermarkets, and many other retail stores.

The state's ban on plastic bags takes effect March 1.

The goal is to remove plastic from the waste stream. Many of the bags end up as roadside litter or in waterways.

But the state is still grappling with the issue of allowing thicker plastic bags, which are more durable and people might re-use over again

Environmental groups don't like that idea.

"Our goal is for people to use truly reusable bags, the ones that can be used hundreds of times," said Jordan Christensen, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "So if you're giving out a free bag at a register, even if it's slightly thicker than the ones you normally see, most people aren't really reusing those."

Under the law, counties have the option of allowing stores to sell paper bags for 5 cents each. Suffolk County did opt to allow that, but Nassau County did not opt in.

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