Paper or Plastic?
That familiar refrain for choosing a grocery bag at the supermarket may be changing. As part of an effort to go green, more than 200 communities in 20 states have passed plastic bag regulations.
"These laws make a huge difference," environmental attorney Jennie Romer told CNBC's "On The Money" in a recent interview.
The regulations range from complete bans in cities like Seattle and Austin, to bag-use fees. They range from 5 cents in Washington D.C., all the way up to 20 cents per bag in Aspen, Colorado.
Romer worked on the San Francisco law, which was the first in the nation, that initially began as a ban on plastic bags. She also served as a pro bono counsel to the New York City Council, which last month passed its own law requiring supermarkets to charge 5 cents a bag, beginning October 1st.
"I helped rewrite that to make it be a ban on thin plastic bags, and a charge for paper bags and the thicker plastic bags that qualify as reusable," she said.
"That's where we really saw a huge change in consumer behavior," said Romer, who is founder and director of plasticbaglaws.org.