Austin bans plastic bags

Plastic bags

Credit: WFAA

More and more communities in the United States are banning or limiting the use of plastic bags.

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Associated Press

Posted on March 3, 2012 at 10:14 AM

AUSTIN (AP) — The Austin City Council has approved a ban on disposable plastic and paper bags at checkout counters for retailers.

The ban approved early Friday takes effect next March.

Reusable bags that are allowed include those made of cloth, durable materials or thicker paper and plastic bags with handles.

The ban has exemptions, including single-use bags for newspapers, bulk foods and carry-out items from restaurants. Charitable groups relying on single-use bags to distribute food and other assistance are also exempt.

Supporters of the disposable bag ban raised trash and other environmental concerns.

Leaders of the Texas Retailers Association and other critics have said they fear the bag ban will affect business.

Austin city officials plan to spend $2 million on an education campaign about the ban.

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