A lawmaker wants to ban the use of plastic checkout bags at Rhode Island grocery stores and other retailers.
Rep. Gregg Amore has introduced a bill that would require large retail stores to stop using plastic bags by Jan. 1, 2016. All retail stores would have to comply with the ban by Jan. 1, 2017. Some bags would be exempt, such as bags to protect fresh flowers.
Amore says single-use plastic checkout bags pollute Narragansett Bay, hundreds of miles of coastline and other bodies of water, and litter neighborhoods, parks and roadsides.
His bill was sent to the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources for consideration. Similar measures died in the previous two legislative sessions.
In 2012, Barrington became the first municipality in Rhode Island to ban plastic bags.