RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 5-cent fee on plastic bag use will begin in Suffolk County.

Students from school across the county spent weeks outside of supermarkets surveying over 11,000 shoppers, and they discovered that 70 percent used plastic bags to carry their groceries. That will likely change soon when a new law takes effect charging 5 cents per plastic non-reusable bag.

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“In America we use 100-billion plastic bags every year, the statistic that 46,000 pieces of plastic exist in every square mile of the ocean today,” Adrienne Esposito of Citizens Campaign for the Environment said.

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The law is for all stores including drug stores and clothing stores, so if you go to the mall and buy a sweater and you don’t have a reusable bag you will be charged 5 cents.

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