H-NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Oct 24, 2012 9:30 PM by The Associated Press

San Mateo County to bag plastic sacks next year

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) - San Mateo County has taken a big step toward putting plastic carryout bags on the trash heap of history.

The San Mateo Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/TB3ZCj) that county supervisors unanimously approved a law Tuesday that prohibits retailers in unincorporated parts of San Mateo from bagging customers' purchases in plastic. The plastic bag ban goes into effect next April.

Two dozen cities within county limits have agreed to consider similar bans. Nearly four dozen others throughout California already have adopted them.

Under San Mateo County's version, grocery stores, drug stores and all other shops will be allowed to charge customers without reusable bags a dime for each paper bag they use. The charge will go up to 25-cents in 2015.

Merchants who are caught doling out plastic sacks could be fined $100 for the first offense.

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