Nassau lawmakers eye plastic bag fee

Posted: Updated:
WOODBURY -

Shoppers in Nassau County may soon have to start forking over 5 cents for plastic bags like their Suffolk County neighbors.

Nassau lawmakers are considering a bag-fee proposal with the goal of dramatically curbing the use of plastic bags -- which often wind up in bays and threaten fish, birds and other wildlife.

MORE: Nassau lawmakers announce bag-fee bill

The proposed fee in Nassau mirrors the current law in Suffolk: 5 cents would be charged for each plastic bag at grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and retail outlets. Store owners would have to pay a penalty if they fail to collect the fee. Eateries and restaurants would be exempt.

Legislator Debra Mule (D-Freeport) notes that because of the fee in Suffolk, plastic bag usage is down almost 80 percent there.

"We can't solve the entire pollution problem, but we can take important steps to decrease the use of disposable bags here in Nassau," says Mule.

To some Nassau shoppers who spoke with News 12, the proposed bag fee sounds like a nuisance.

But environmentalists say it's an important effort.

"The bottom line is we need to change public behavior and get the public to bring their own bags to the store so that we can stop using plastic bags," says Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently introduced a bill banning plastic bags statewide, but Nassau lawmakers say that might make stores turn to paper bags. They say the production of paper bags is also harmful to the environment.

If the bill passes, the Nassau plastic bag fee would take effect Jan. 31, 2019.

  • EnvironmentMore>>

  • Environmentalists urge Nassau to consider plastic bag fee

    Environmentalists urge Nassau to consider plastic bag fee

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 5:48 PM EDT2018-05-23 21:48:07 GMT
    Environmental groups are urging Nassau County lawmakers to consider implementing a plastic bag fee.Environmental groups are urging Nassau County lawmakers to consider implementing a plastic bag fee.

    Environmental groups are urging Nassau County lawmakers to consider implementing a plastic bag fee.

    Environmental groups are urging Nassau County lawmakers to consider implementing a plastic bag fee.

  • Wainscott well water problem could mean tax hikes

    Wainscott well water problem could mean tax hikes

    Monday, May 21 2018 10:07 PM EDT2018-05-22 02:07:30 GMT
    Suffolk County water officials unveiled a proposal Monday night on how to bring public water to Wainscott.Suffolk County water officials unveiled a proposal Monday night on how to bring public water to Wainscott.

    Suffolk County water officials unveiled a proposal Monday night on how to bring public water to Wainscott.

    Suffolk County water officials unveiled a proposal Monday night on how to bring public water to Wainscott.

  • State rolling out plan to combat tick population

    State rolling out plan to combat tick population

    Sunday, May 20 2018 5:45 PM EDT2018-05-20 21:45:52 GMT
    The state says it has a new plan to control the tick population and combat tick-borne illnesses.The state says it has a new plan to control the tick population and combat tick-borne illnesses.
    The state says it has a new plan to control the tick population and combat tick-borne illnesses.The state says it has a new plan to control the tick population and combat tick-borne illnesses.

    The state says it has a new plan to control the tick population and combat tick-borne illnesses.

    The state says it has a new plan to control the tick population and combat tick-borne illnesses.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Dog Day Fridays for May 25

    Dog Day Fridays for May 25

    Friday, May 25 2018 8:05 AM EDT2018-05-25 12:05:38 GMT
    Baxter is a 7-year-old Shepherd mix recently surrendered to the shelter by his owner. This handsome fellow loves to play and have fun. He likes other dogs as long as they are friendly and allow him to take the lead.Baxter is a 7-year-old Shepherd mix recently surrendered to the shelter by his owner. This handsome fellow loves to play and have fun. He likes other dogs as long as they are friendly and allow him to take the lead.

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bobbi and the Strays. The shelter is located at 2 Rider Place in Freeport. Their phone number is (516) 378-4340

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bobbi and the Strays. The shelter is located at 2 Rider Place in Freeport. Their phone number is (516) 378-4340

  • PHOTOS: Fleet Week 2018

    PHOTOS: Fleet Week 2018

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:53 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:53:14 GMT
    Fleet Week 2018Fleet Week 2018
    Fleet Week 2018Fleet Week 2018

    Photos of the 2018 Fleet Week ships coming up the Hudson River to Manhattan. There are 14 ships for the public to visit and tour. The celebration lasts a week. It has been held nearly every year since 1984.

    Photos of the 2018 Fleet Week ships coming up the Hudson River to Manhattan. There are 14 ships for the public to visit and tour. The celebration lasts a week. It has been held nearly every year since 1984.

  • Memorial Day 2018 Photos

    Memorial Day 2018 Photos

    Whether you are honoring loved ones, attending a parade or spending time with family, News 12 wants to see your Memorial Day photos. Post them on Instagram or Twitter with #N12MemorialDay.

    Whether you are honoring loved ones, attending a parade or spending time with family, News 12 wants to see your Memorial Day photos. Post them on Instagram or Twitter with #N12MemorialDay.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."