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Cities Across the Country Choose Paper Over Plastic

Due to environmental concerns, many jurisdictions have restricted the ability of retail stores to provide plastic bags to customers at checkout.

Over 350 cities and towns have enacted similar ordinances as part of the growing push for consumers to bring reusable bags when shopping.

These ordinances either (1) prohibit retailers from providing single-use plastic bags to customers at checkout and require retailers to charge customers a fee for each paper or reusable bag provided, or (2) allow retailers to provide single-use plastic bags for a fee and require retailers to give customers the option to select paper or reusable bags, either for a fee or at no charge. Fees range anywhere from $0.05 to $0.25 and must be itemized as a separate item on the customer’s receipt. Furthermore, retailers must post signage near the checkout counter indicating the per bag charge. Los Angeles and San Francisco prohibit giving single-use plastic bags to customers, and require retailers to charge customers $0.10 for each paper bag provided. Similarly, Chicago requires retailers to charge customers $0.07 for each paper or plastic bag provided. 

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