Plastic shopping bags commonly supplied to customers by retailers will be banned in Brownsville in a move to protect the environment.
The Brownsville City Commission on Tuesday approved the ban, to take effect in 2011.
Commissioners are calling for a voluntary ban of plastic shopping bags through December 2010. As of next year, businesses can only provide recyclable paper bags, reusable bags or biodegradable bags.
Neither the voluntary nor the mandatory ban applies to plastic bags for bagging meat, fish and poultry products.
The ordinance says Brownsville has a duty to protect the natural environment, the economy and the health of its citizens.