Ban on single-use plastic bags taking effect in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A ban on single-use plastic bags in the city of Providence is going into effect.

The city says the ordinance takes effect on Tuesday. It prohibits retailers form offering single-use plastic bags at checkout counters, unless they can prove a qualifying exemption.

The ordinance allows for reusable bags and recyclable paper bags. Bags used to transport produce, laundry bags, dry-cleaning bags and bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat or fish are exempt.

Retailers in violation will be issued a warning and can be fined for subsequent offenses. The city plans to use any revenue collected for outreach about recycling and waste.

The Rhode Island Senate passed a bill in June to ban single-use plastic bags at checkout counters statewide, but the effort stalled in the House.

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