Albuquerque City Council approves ban on plastic bags

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The Albuquerque City Council has approved an amended version of a bill that limits the use of plastic shopping bags.

The Clean and Green Retail Ordinance, which passed late Monday, will prohibit businesses from providing single-use plastic bags to customers at the point of sale.

The amended version, introduced by Councilor Ken Sanchez, exempts dry cleaners and restaurants from the plastic bag ban.

The bill initially included language that would have banned businesses from providing foam food containers and would have restricted plastic straws. Those components were removed.

Some members of the business community had argued that consumers would bear the brunt through higher prices and more inconvenience.

The ban will take effect Jan. 1, 2020. A first offense comes with a warning, but penalties can escalate up to $250.

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