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Seattle mulls plastic bag ban

Dec. 20, 2011 at 7:49 PM

SEATTLE, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A Seattle City Council bill banning distribution of plastic bags to shoppers is intended to "help shift behavior," the bill's main sponsor said.

The council passed the bill unanimously Monday and sent it to Mayor Mike McGinn for his signature, seattlepi.com reported.

The ban would take effect in July and would be the most far-reaching of its kind for any city outlawing plastic bags in food trucks, farmers markets, home-improvement stores, department stores, grocery stores, clothing stores and convenience stores.

Seattle shoppers may get paper bags -- at a 5-cent fee which is reimbursed to retailers for restocking the paper.

"The hope is by passing this legislation; we can help shift behavior and get more people to use reusable bags instead of disposable bags," said Councilman Mike O'Brien, the bill's main sponsor.

Plastic bags choke birds and marine wildlife, and pollute the land and ocean environment, seattlepi.com reported.

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