SAO PAULO Ė Supermarkets in Brazilís Sao Paulo state stopped handing out plastic bags to customers on Wednesday in an effort to reduce pollution.
The new policy was made possible by an agreement reached last May by the Sao Paulo Supermarket Association, or Apas, a trade group that represents nearly 90 percent of the companies in the industry, and the state government.
Sao Paulo, Brazilís richest state, has about 42 million people.
The agreement was signed by the top supermarket chains, including Carrefour, Walmart and Pao de AÁucar, the leading retailer in the South American country.
The policy, which drew strong support from environmental groups, calls for shoppers to bring reusable bags to stores or pay 0.19 reais ($0.10) for biodegradable bags. EFE