Santa Fe prepares for change in shopping-bag rules

A clerk bags groceries in paper sacks Aug. 3, 2009, at the M Street Grocery in Seattle. After Seattle officials passed a 20-cent tax on each paper or plastic grocery bag, the nation's first, the plastic industry poured nearly $1.4 million to defeat the measure. Opponents of the bag tax have outspent supporters about 16 to 1 to sway Seattle's famously green voters to reject the bag tax during the Aug. 18 primary. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The city of Santa Fe gave away more than 1,000 reusable bags over the weekend as the city moves closer toward enforcing a new requirement that stores charge shoppers 10 cents for paper bags.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that officials will continue setting up tents at locations across the city throughout the month to prepare residents for the change.

In late April, the City Council approved the fee after a ban on plastic grocery bags didn’t motivate enough people to bring reusable totes. The change takes effect later this month.

The money collected on paper bags will go toward environmental educational efforts and giving out free reusable tote bags to people in Santa Fe.

City officials believe the fee will produce $336,000 in its first year.

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