SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Anchorage City in the U.S. state of Alaska on Sunday began to enforce a stringent ban on plastic bags, including biodegradable ones, according to an announcement on the city's official website.
The ban applies to almost all retail stores across the city, including single-use plastic bags used by restaurants for take-out foods.
A guideline issued by the Municipality of Anchorage said biodegradable or compostable plastic bags are also prohibited in commercial activities because they "do not biodegrade well in our climate."
The new measure encourages businesses and customers to provide or bring their own reusable bags for shopping as the ban aims to reduce waster or litter. Only paper bags or other alternatives can be legally provided at shops or grocery stores, and a minimum 10 U.S. cents may be charged for each bag.
Under the ban, retailers who violate the city code for the first time will receive a warning, and a second offense could carry a fine of 250 dollars, with the third and subsequent offenses each facing 500 dollars in penalty.
The prohibition provides for a few exceptions including plastic bags used for produce, vegetables, bakery goods, meat, fish or frozen foods.
The Anchorage Assembly voted for the ban on Aug. 28, 2018, which was originally set to take effect on March 1, this year. The ban was postponed to Sept. 15 after some business owners reported a large stockpile of plastic bags.