Brownsville effort at going greener begins this week with a ban on most plastic shopping bags commonly handed out to customers by retailers.
The ban takes effect Wednesday.
A voluntary ban has been in effect since the Brownsville City Commission on Jan. 5, 2010, approved the measure.
Commissioner Edward Camarillo says the goal is fighting pollution and reducing litter.
Plastic bags of a certain thickness, meant for reuse, are allowed. Also allowed are single-use plastic bags meant to prevent contamination from meat, fish and poultry.
Shoppers can pay $1 to have their items placed in remaining single-use bags that a store might have.
Lone Star public benefits cards cannot be used to pay the surcharge.