Starting January 1, 2013, grocery stores and many other retailers in Alameda County will no longer provide single-use plastic carryout bags at checkout.

The Reusable Bag Ordinance affects all grocery stores, mini-marts, convenience stores, liquor stores, other stores, and pharmacies selling packaged foods and/or alcohol in Alameda County.

Similar ordinances are already in affect in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and other communities throughout California.

Plastic bags litter the waterways, and plastic pollution is a growing threat to marine life. It takes hundreds of years for plastic bags to decompose.

Shoppers may purchase recycled paper bags for $.10 per bag. Consumers are encouraged to bring their own recycled bags to the store.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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