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Coronavirus Forces California To Halt Plastic Bag Ban And 10-Cent Charge

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – In an effort to stop customers from trying to bring their own reusable bags to grocery stores because of the risks they pose due to the coronavirus pandemic, California has temporarily halted the statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, along with the 10-cent charge for buying paper or plastic bags.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday signed an executive order suspending the ban for 60 days.

During this time, grocery stores will give out single-use plastic or paper bags to customers for free.

The order also allows stores to stop accepting recycled bottles and cans.

The order is "critical to protect the public health and safety and minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure for workers engaged in essential activities, such as those handling reusable grocery bags or recyclable containers where recycling centers are not available."

Back in September 2014, then California Gov. Jerry Brown passed the nation's first ever statewide ban on plastic bags. In November 2016, voters narrowly upheld the ban.

Since then, several cities, corporations and arenas have moved forward with bans on plastic straws, including the city of Los Angeles. Last year, California was also considering a ban on paper receipts.

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