Seattle's city council expected to pass ordinance banning plastic bags, charging US$0.05 per paper bag on Dec. 19

SEATTLE , December 19, 2011 () – Seattle officials are expected to vote to ban plastic bags.

The vote by the city council is expected at a meeting Monday. The ordinance would banish single-use, carryout bags in groceries and other retail stores.

Paper bags would cost a nickel — to encourage the use of reusable bags.

The ( reports seven of nine council members are sponsoring the bill.

The city's residents use 292 million plastic bags a year. The ban is expected to reduce pollution, free up landfill space and improve the environment.

In 2008, the council voted to charge a 20-cent fee on paper and plastic bags. The plastics industry spent $1.4 million backing a referendum to overturn it, and voters defeated the fee in 2009.

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