Rhode Island mayor signed plastic bag ban into law

May 2, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The mayor of Providence has signed into law a city-wide ban on plastic checkout bags.

Mayor Jorge Elorza signed the Retail Plastic Bag Reduction Act on Wednesday. The Providence City Council voted unanimously to approve the ban last week.

The law prohibits retailers from distributing plastic checkout bags unless they can prove a qualifying exemption.

The law also mandates that the city’s Office of Sustainability conduct environmental and outreach programs.

The office has 60 days to draft a plan for the programs.

If retailers violate the plastic bag ban, they will get a warning for the first offense, a $50 fine for the second offense and a $100 fine for each subsequent offense.

The new ban will go into effect in six months.