Elorza expected to sign ordinance banning plastic bags

PROVIDENCE – The City Council has approved an ordinance banning the use of plastic bags citywide, WPRI-TV CBS 12 reported.

The revised ordinance follows a similar proposal approved last year that was vetoed by Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, who cited community concerns. An Elorza spokesperson said the mayor is in full support of the revised ordinance and plans to sign it, WPRI-TV reported April 22.

The Retail Plastic Bag Reduction Act would fine retailers offering plastic bags to customers $50 for the first violation and $100 for all subsequent violations. Exemptions include dry cleaning and laundry bags, and bags for frozen foods.

The revised ordinance removes a 10-cent fee for shoppers who use plastic bags instead of bringing reusable bags from home.

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The ordinance will take effect six months after passage, allowing businesses to rid their stock of plastic bags and learn how to transition to recyclable bags.