The state Senate has given final approval to a bill that largely prohibits retailers in Delaware from providing single-use carryout plastic bags to customers.
The bill approved Thursday is aimed at reducing the amount of plastic bags cluttering landfills, littering roadways and clogging stormwater systems.
The bill applies to stores with more than 7,000 square feet of sales space, and chain stores with three or more locations having at least 3,000 square feet of sales space. The city of Wilmington could impose bag bans on smaller stores.
Restaurants are excluded from the bag ban, which also allows exceptions for bags used to wrap meat, fish, flowers or plants, or that contain unwrapped food items.
Gov. John Carney is expected to sign the bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2021.
“Plastic bags are a significant source of litter in our state. Many get stuck in trees or discarded on the side of the road," Carney said in a statement. "We know that very few plastic bags are recycled and many end up as litter in our communities. I look forward to signing this legislation, which will help clean up our state and give us another tool to protect our environment."