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New York Bag Ban Could Have Huge Impact On Pollution, LI Data Suggest

Ted Shaffrey
A cash register attendant looks at a sign that reads "Plastic Bags Ban" in a grocery store in New York on Wednesday. Many types of plastic bags will be banned starting March 1 in New York State.

New York could make drastic cuts to pollution when its plastic bag ban goes into effect on Sunday.

In 2018, Suffolk County used about 80% fewer plastic bags, after it implemented a 5 cent fee

That’s more than a billion bags saved in the first year. 

Hofstra University professor Robert Brinkmann says the statewide ban could save billions of bags. 

“Imagine a billion of those entering the waste stream that are no longer there. That’s a big improvement and certainly worth our effort to carry our own reusable bags into stores.”

State environmental officials estimate that New York uses 23 billion plastic bags per year. Many stores will still offer paper bags, but officials say shoppers should try to bring their own reusables.

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