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Santa Monica bans plastic bags

plasticbagintree L.A. County bans plastic bags

It’s official: Santa Monica is the latest city to ban plastic bags.

Starting Sep. 2011, plastic bags will be banned in the beach city. Those who forget to bring their reusable shopping bags will still be able to get paper bags — so long as they’re willing to pay at least a dime for the disposable privilege.

There will be exceptions to the no-plastic rule, however. Plastic bags will still be allowed for take-out orders at restaurants and other food service providers. And those smaller, flimsier plastic bags — commonly found in the produce sections of grocery stores — will still be given out free of charge.

There will be exceptions to the paper bag fee rule too. Only grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores, mini-marts, and pharmacies will be required to charge for bags. Other stores — like clothing boutiques, department stores, and even farmers market vendors — will still be allowed to give out free paper bags. In addition, shoppers participating in the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children or the Supplemental Food Program will be allowed free paper bags.

The plastic ban ordinance was passed unanimously by the Santa Monica City Council last night.

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Photo by Kate Ter Harr/Flickr