PLEASANT HILL -- Pleasant Hill is the seventh city in Contra Costa County to enact a plastic bag ban, scheduled to take effect in February.

Pleasant Hill's ordinance prohibits distribution of single-use plastic bags at supermarkets, restaurants and all retailers, including department stores, liquor stores, convenience stores and drugstores. Customers could bring their own bags or purchase a recycled paper bag for 10 cents. People who receive government food aid don't have to pay for a paper bag. The ordinance exempts garment bags and paper or plastic bags for fresh produce, meat and prescription medications.

Shoppers carry plastic bags.
Shoppers carry plastic bags. (John Green/Staff file)

The California Restaurant Association had urged Pleasant Hill to exempt eateries -- arguing that plastic bags are safer than paper bags, which can tear due to leaks, and more sanitary than reusable bags, which may harbor harmful bacteria.

A bill that would ban single-use plastic bags at large grocery stores beginning in July 2015, and at liquor and convenience stores the following year, is pending in the state Legislature.

Lisa P. White covers Concord and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.