Coral Gables to consider plastic bag ban

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - Coral Gables could become the first city in Florida to ban plastic bags.

The Miami Herald reports that the issue will most likely be brought up at Tuesday’s city commission meeting. The ban will be similar to the city’s ban on Styrofoam, and would bar use of plastic bags by retailers in the city.

Violators would initially receive warnings before facing fines, which start at $50 and increase to $500 if violated three times in a one-year period.

Exceptions to the ban include bags for prescriptions, dry cleaning, pet waste, trash, and newspaper bags, the Herald reports.

The ordinance encourages retailers to promote reusable bags, and gives the option of selling paper bags or reusable ones for at least 10 cents.

The state of California banned plastic bags last year, with retailers charging similar 10-cent fees for thicker, reusable bags.

According to the Herald, the ban needs two commission votes before it can be approved. The next Coral Gables City Commission meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 14, at Coral Gables City Hall.

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