- Associated Press - Friday, June 7, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A bill that would ban single-use plastic bags at all checkout counters in Rhode Island stores has passed the Senate.

The legislation approved unanimously on Thursday would require stores to offer recyclable paper bags or place items in reusable bags brought by customers.

A House panel has backed a different version of the bill, which if enacted would make a policy already in effect in many communities a statewide law.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza signed a city ordinance last month that prohibits retailers from distributing plastic checkout bags unless they can prove a qualifying exemption. That measure is slated to go into effect later this year.

The Maine Senate gave initial approval to similar statewide legislation earlier this week and a ban is also being considered by the Massachusetts Legislature.

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