California gets most of the attention related to plastic bag bans, but North Carolina actually passed a state-mandated ban that takes effect today. The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Va., has a pretty thorough feature story about the Carolina ban. The ban applies to retailers on the Outer Banks -- specifically, businesses in coastal Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties. Retailers can continue to use bags they already have in inventory, but they can't buy any more. Plastic is still permitted for meat, fish and produce. Shoppers are encouraged to bring reusable bags from home -- they actually get a discount on purchases if they do. If they don't, then retailers must offer paper bags with at least 40 percent recycled content. The bag ban on the Outer Banks is driven by environmentalism, and by tourism. A spokesman for state Sen. Marc Basnight, who proposed the law, notes: "A littered-up Outer Banks is not what will continue to attract visitors from around the country." California's Legislature failed to pass a ban on plastic bags on Aug. 31. But you should expect more municipalities and counties around the country to consider local bans in the coming months.
Bag ban arrives in North Carolina
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