Plastic bag ban takes effect in Encinitas

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ENCINITAS, Calif. -- A ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in Encinitas went into effect Friday, impacting most retail outlets in the North County city.

The bags, a major source of litter and considered by environmentalists to be a threat to marine life, are no longer allowed to be handed out at grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores, discount stores with food products, convenience stores and mini-marts, liquor stores and city facilities.

Shoppers who forget to bring their reusable shopping bags can purchase paper bags for a dime.

Beginning Oct. 10, the ban will extend to department stores, clothing stores, hardware stores, farmers' markets, and all other establishments selling merchandise, according to the city. Restaurants, food vendors and food trucks
are exempt.

City officials in San Diego were preparing their own plastic bag ban, but they stopped when a statewide prohibition was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last year.

However, the state ban hasn't taken effect because opponents collected enough signatures to force a vote on the issue.

San Diego officials are conducting an environmental review of their proposed ban. City Council President Sherri Lightner said recently she would reintroduce her proposed ordinance once the review is completed.

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