PITTSBURGH (AP) — Council members in Pittsburgh have voted unanimously to ban single-use plastic bags at businesses in a year.

All seven Pittsburgh City Council members voted in favor of the measure Tuesday to bar grocers and other retailers from distributing single-use plastic bags beginning April 12, 2023.

The ban exempts bulk items such as packaged meat and fish, fruits and vegetables as well as garbage collection and pet waste. Businesses will be allowed to offer paper bags at a cost of 10 cents a bag, with an exemption from that fee for people receiving food assistance or help from other social service programs.

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Councilwoman Erika Strassburger, who introduced the bill last fall, said the ban would help curtail litter and ease storm water risk as well as reducing the amounts of microplastics in soil, rivers and our drinking water. She also said it would “begin to break our alliance and independence on fossil fuel-based products.”

The American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance opposed the measure, arguing that single-use plastic grocery bags are not a leading cause of litter and are often reused. The group said the fee for paper bags could harm low-income families.

A similar ban went into effect in Philadelphia this month.