Northport Students and Teachers Join Local Groups to Gear Up for Suffolk County’s Bag Bill Implementation

Northport Students and Teachers Join Local Groups to Gear Up for Suffolk County’s Bag Bill Implementation photo
Northport High School’s Environment Team was invited to the Suffolk County Legislature’s Office on Dec. 18 to highlight the extensive work they have done in collecting data regarding plastic bag usage. Northport High school was one of seven local schools that contributed to this project.

Students previously worked with other members of the community to conduct surveys concerning consumer shopping habits in advance of Suffolk’s Bring Your Own Bag law implementation, which began on Jan. 1, 2018. These surveys demonstrated widespread use of single-use plastic bags in grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores throughout Suffolk County, and are believed to be the most comprehensive in the nation to document shoppers bag use habits.

More than 11,000 individuals were surveyed outside the aforementioned establishments, and 71 percent of those individuals were using non-recyclable bags.

Next year, these surveys will be taken again, once a 5-cent fee on plastic and paper bags is implemented. The hope is to analyze the effect of the law on consumer behavior.

"It's inspiring to see how a small group of students can have a large impact on important matters in our community,” said Environmental Team member Sabrina Kramer. “We are excited to see this law take effect, and we hope to see that people will change their habits for the better, and replace their plastic bags with reusable ones, creating a cleaner future for all of us."