PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — A ban on single-use plastic bags in the city of Providence is going into effect.
The city says the ordinance takes effect on Tuesday. It prohibits retailers from offering single-use plastic bags at checkout counters unless they can prove a qualifying exemption.
The ordinance allows for reusable bags and recyclable paper bags. Bags used to transport produce, laundry bags, dry-cleaning bags and bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat or fish are exempt.
Retailers in violation will be issued a warning and can be fined for subsequent offenses. The city plans to use any revenue collected for outreach about recycling and waste.
The Rhode Island Senate passed a bill in June to ban single-use plastic bags at checkout counters statewide, but the effort stalled in the House. Statewide ban attempts have been considered on Smith Hill since 2015.
Eleven Rhode Island towns have implemented plastic bag bans; when an East Providence ban takes effect next month, it will be the 12th municipality with a ban. The city of Boston implemented a ban in 2017.