Lawmaker proposes plastic bag ban in Suffolk
A Suffolk lawmaker wants the county to ban plastic bags at grocery stores, saying that the single-use bags are a source of pollution.
Legislator William Spencer on Tuesday introduced a bill that would ban stores in Suffolk from handing out the bags. He says it's a way to cut down on litter and protect the environment.
Under the proposed law, retailers would be unable to provide single-use plastic bags for carryout items. Stores can offer alternatives by selling paper bags at checkout for 10 cents each. Reusable plastic bags could also be sold for a minimum of 10 cents.
But fellow Legislator Tom Cilmi says the bill would be an unnecessary burden on retailers and customers, calling it a government-imposed fee on consumers that would essentially be like a tax.
Should the bill become a law, the countywide ban would be the first of its kind in New York state. Southampton, Patchogue and East Hampton have already put plastic bag bans into effect.
Suffolk residents can weigh in on the proposed ban at public hearings on March 22 and April 22. A vote on the measure is expected in May.