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Arlington looks at ban on plastic grocery bags

ARLINGTON — A City Council committee said today that it will ask the full council to ban use of lightweight plastic grocery bags in Arlington in an effort to help cut down on litter.

The city has said it spends more than $1 million a year cleaning up litter, which officials say is mostly plastic bags. The plastic bags endanger animals and clog storm drains, committee members said.

The group’s proposal would affect grocery stores, pharmacies and take-out restaurants. The committee plans to present its plan during the council’s work session this afternoon so it can gauge council support.

Arlington would have to draft an ordinance and the council approve it before the bags could be banned.

Businesses would have to switch to reusable, biodegradable plastic or paper bags.

San Francisco is one of a few cities that has a ban on plastic bags.