On Wednesday, the Council unanimously approved a phase out ban of plastic bags citywide and a fee on paper bags. The approved ban initiates an environmental review that needs to commence prior to an ordinance being adopted and the ban becoming law. Under the ban, large stores would have 6 months to phase out plastic bags and the smaller retail stores would have 12 months. For the use of paper bags, retailers would be required to charge a 10-cent per bag one year after the ban. But first, City officials will take approximately 4-6 months to finish the environmental review. Additionally, the Council instructed the Bureau of Sanitation to begin an education and outreach effort to inform the public and encourage the use of reusable bags.