AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills has signed a bill into law banning single-use plastic carryout bags throughout the state.

The new law prohibits retail establishments from using this type of bag at the point of sale. As an alternative, businesses are allowed to give customers paper bags -- but grocers and large retailers are required to charge a minimum fee of five cents per bag.

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Before the bill was passed, 24 municipalities in Maine had already instituted local bans on single-use plastic bags. The new law comes as a request from the Retail Association of Maine and Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association to establish a uniform, statewide policy. 

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The regulations will go into effect on April 22, 2020 to give businesses enough time to adjust.