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California Just Became the First State to Ban Plastic Bags

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The age-old cashier's question — "paper or plastic?" — will be obsolete in California by 2016.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday signed legislation making his state the first in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags, the Associated Press reported:

Plastic bags will be phased out of large grocery stores starting next year and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The legislation is meant to encourage consumers to bring their own bags and as a way to reduce litter.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday signed legislation banning single-use plastic bags. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Plastic bags were already banned by local ordinances in more than 100 California municipalities, from the major cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco to smaller towns like Carpinteria. The statewide ban will leave those local bans in place, the AP reported.

Paper bags were spared by the legislation, though grocery stores will be required to charge 10 cents per bag.

Featured image via Shutterstock

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