NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some City Council members, environmental advocates and schoolchildren gathered on the steps of City Hall on Monday to push for a new law that would make shoppers pay for using plastic bags.

Councilman Brad Lander, D-Brooklyn, said the bill would require retail and grocery stores to charge customers a dime for each single-use plastic bag.

He said New Yorkers currently use 9 billion plastic bags each year.

“We know that the simple addition of that 10-cent charge will help the vast majority of New Yorkers in every neighborhood of every income group of every demographic to bring reusable bags,” Lander said at the rally.

Lander said other cities adopting similar measures have seen 60 to 90 percent reductions in plastic bag use.

Supporters note that plastic bags have been known to kill birds, fish, turtles and even whales and cost New York City more than $12 million per year for disposal.

“All of us have had that experience of walking down the street, seeing a plastic bag fly by, looking up in the tree, seeing them hanging there,” said Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, D-Manhattan.

Lander said the bill is a few votes short of the 26 needed to send it to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desk.

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