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Ban on Plastic Bags Takes Effect Today in Santa Monica

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Shoppers in Santa Monica, you'd best be bringing your own bags to your neighborhood stores from this day forward, as today is the day the city's ban on plastic bags goes into effect. If you forgot to pack those re-usable canvas bags in your Prius before hitting the Whole Foods, though, relax: City Hall is giving retailers a six-month grace period before enforcing the ban, reports the Santa Monica Daily Press.According to city officials, retailers can use the time between now and September 1 "to use up the plastic and paper bags they already have in stock, and do research on the kinds of reusable bags they want to purchase." Also starting September 1, stores will have to collect 10 cents for every plastic bag they give away.

Santa Monica is supporting the widespread use of reusable bags, and is urging people who have too many to bring them to upcoming community drop-offs to share the abundance with others. A local Veterans' group is also taking the opportunity to raise money by making and selling bags to SaMo residents.