Some shoppers find new Suffolk bag fee a hassle

Posted: Updated:

Rosanne Jaronczyk says she feels like she's getting nickeled and dimed with a new five-cent fee for grocery bags in Suffolk County.

She paid an extra 15 cents at the Stew Leonard's in Farmingdale for three plastic bags to bring her groceries home.

"I know, it's nothing," she says. "It's pennies, but why can't they absorb the five cents?"

It's likely because the county Department of Health Services will fine the stores $500 for each violation of the new law following a six-month grace period.

On Jan. 1, Suffolk became the first county in the state to enact the fee in an effort to slow down plastic pollution. The idea is that the fee will encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags, which are ostensibly better for the environment.

And some shoppers are on board, like Rob Willms of Massapequa.

"I don't think it's a bad thing," he says. "It makes people be more green."

Claire Clark, who lives on the border between Nassau and Suffolk in Farmingdale, says she just has to remember which stores have the fee and which don't.

"One of the key things for us to do was to make sure we have a lot of awareness and to make sure that we did have a lot of signs out for the customer weeks before the law kicked in," says Stew Leonard's worker Cristian Cruz. "That helped with the transition a little better."

Stew Leonard's sells reusable bags for just 99 cents.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® 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®, Time Warner® 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 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."