- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2016

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Lawmakers on eastern Long Island have approved a measure to charge 5 cents for paper or plastic bags at store checkouts.

Sponsors say the Suffolk County legislation is aimed at reducing pollution. Opponents say the law adds to the cost of groceries.

Retailers would get to keep the nickel per bag under the Suffolk County law.

It is scheduled to go into effect in 2018. Suffolk is the first county in the state outside New York City to enact such a law.

Implementation of the New York City bag law has been delayed until February 2017 after concerns were raised by lawmakers in Albany.

Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington have similar policies. Backers contend plastic bag use has dropped sharply in those areas.

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