THE BRONX - City Council members are introducing a proposal that would charge consumers a dime every time they use a plastic bag to carry out their groceries.

Currently, stores voluntarily charge a fee if consumers opt for a plastic bag. If the bill passes, the charge will be mandatory.

The council says that New Yorkers use 5.2 billion carry-out bags per year, most of which are not recycled. It says the city spends $10 million a year to ship those used plastic bags to landfills.

The proposal, which goes hand in hand with Mayor Bill de Blasio's ban on plastic bags, already has the support of 19 members, which is just seven short of the 26 needed to pass it.

If the bill is passed, consumers would have to bring their own reusable bags to the store to avoid the fee.