AUSTIN -- The Austin City Council has approved a ban on disposable plastic and paper bags at checkout counters for retailers.
The ban approved early Friday takes effect next March.
Reusable bags that are allowed include those made of cloth, durable materials or thicker paper and plastic bags with handles.
The ban has exemptions, including single-use bags for newspapers, bulk foods and carry-out items from restaurants. Charitable groups relying on single-use bags to distribute food and other assistance are also exempt.
Austin city officials plan to spend $2 million on an education campaign about the ban.
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