Portland expands plastic bag ban

PORTLAND — The Portland City Council has voted to greatly expand its ban on plastic checkout bags.

The ordinance requires all retail establishments and food providers, including food carts, to use only recycled paper bags or reusable bags by October 2013. Stores greater than 10,000 square feet must follow the rule by March.

Mayor Sam Adams tweeted the news Thursday. The tweet was accompanied by a photo from the council meeting that showed Adams posing with activists dressed as plastic bag monsters.

Adams says the ordinance is necessary to keep plastic bags out of rivers and oceans, and to prevent them from jamming the machinery at recycling centers. The initial ban that took effect last year only covered the city’s largest grocery stores and pharmacies.

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