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Fines Begin Friday For Businesses Violating Philadelphia's Plastic Bag Ban

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The warnings are over. Fines begin Friday for businesses violating Philadelphia's plastic bag ban. It's a big change for many businesses and customers.

More than 27 months after City Council voted to enact this ban, and six months after the warning period went into effect, Friday rings in a new era in the city -- one without plastic bags.

Walking around the city's Fairmount section, we couldn't help but notice plastic bags strewn about the sidewalk. It's estimated that Philadelphians use roughly a billion plastic bags every year.

This ban hopes to seriously decrease that number and what it means for the environment.

"Reusable bags are like a great alternative to plastic bags and it's better for the environment. We have plastics all over. They're filling the oceans, we even have plastics inside of our body," Cortnee Love said.

A Dutch study did in fact find that 80% of the people in their study had microplastics in their blood.

Meanwhile, small business owner Kevin Bell, who owns Butter's Soul Food, shared his thoughts on the ban.

"To me, it's a good thing. There's enough bags in the ocean as of right now. The biodegradable would be at least for the environment and everything," Bell said.

We also found a young man who opposes the ban.

"I think it's ridiculous. I think it is, it imposes on people to try and find money for bags when it should be free," Rashid Shelton said.

Another business owner is concerned about losing money.

"A lot of places will lose money because many places -- small bodegas like this, small stores -- they have plastic bags in stock," he said.

Here's a tip for consumers, from Love.

"What you do is just take your reusable bags, leave them in your car or if you have like a cart, just leave it in there, and it's not that bad," she said.

The city says this ban will make Philadelphia cleaner, reduce waste, and save taxpayers money.

The minimum fine for businesses that do not comply is $150.

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