Plastic Bags in U.S. - To Pay or Not to Pay?

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Paper or plastic? It's a question Americans are used to hearing when shopping.

Now residents of the nation's capital have a new question to consider: Will they want to pay 5 cents per bag?

Washington, D.C. has the first law in the nation forcing customers to pay if they want plastic bags.

Environmental activists say it will cut down on pollution and waste.

"Whichever state is going to pull this is off is going to have the potential to be seen as the one that has cracked this problem," said Vincent Cobb, founder of Web site that promotes recycling and sells reusable bags.

Now shoppers are left to bring their own bags or juggle their groceries in their arms. Others are driving to stores in neighboring states where plastic bags are still free.

Meanwhile, San Francisco has completely banned plastic bags, and Los Angeles shoppers will have to pay 25 cents for paper bags starting in July.

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