Puerto Rico to ban use of plastic bags through executive order after legislators opposed bill

Puerto Rico's governor has signed an executive order banning the use of plastic bags across the U.S. territory.

Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Friday the ban would go into effect in mid-2016.

The surprise announcement comes just days after more than two dozen legislators in the island's House of Representatives voted against the bill. Lawmakers had said they opposed the measure because it would charge people for the use of plastic bags amid an economic crisis.

Garcia said an educational campaign will be launched six months before the ban is implemented.

The popular western tourist town of Rincon is the only Puerto Rican municipality that currently bans the use of plastic bags.