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Plastic bag ban nears

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With less than two weeks before plastic bags are banned at stores in Austin the city has kicked off its final campaign to raise awareness of the issue as businesses work to be in compliance.

On places like South Congress, many shoppers likely do not think of bringing their reusable bags with them. Businesses realize that and are preparing for the impending ban.

As each customer checks out at Farm to Market Grocery they are reminded of the upcoming single use bag ban.

"Every time we offer someone a bag we let them know that this may be their last bag so if they're going to take it, remember next time to bring their own bags," Peg McCoy owner of Farm to Market Grocery said.

McCoy estimates that the store goes through nearly 1,000 plastic bags a week. Starting March 1 those bags will no longer be legal.

"I'm sure some people are going to be inconvenienced," McCoy said.

As a small business owner, McCoy said providing reusable bags to customers is not in the budget. However, she will be selling some for $2.00 each.

While her customers are mostly regulars, down the street, stores like Big Top Candy Shop get a lot of tourists. The ban may come as a surprise to many customers. That is why owner Brandon Hodge recently ordered thousands of paper bags he hopes will meet the new requirements.

In an effort to provide another option to customers, businesses on South Congress are teaming up to create a reusable bag that would be available at check out.

However, time is running out for business owners to come up with a plan before the ban goes into effect.

Retailers will have the option to provide reusable bags for sale or for free, or to not provide any bags at all.

Monday, the City of Austin kicked off an $850,000 marketing and advertising campaign to raise awareness of the ban which goes into effect March 1.

More information at

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