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Ban on plastic bags in some cities seems to be having an impact, study finds

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05:  A plastic bag sits stuck in a tree in a Manhattan street on May 05, 2016 in New York City.
New York's City Council is scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill that would require most stores to charge five cents per bag in an effort to cut down on plastic waste. New York's sanitation department estimates that every year 10 billion bags are thrown in the trash.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: A plastic bag sits stuck in a tree in a Manhattan street on May 05, 2016 in New York City. New York's City Council is scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill that would require most stores to charge five cents per bag in an effort to cut down on plastic waste. New York's sanitation department estimates that every year 10 billion bags are thrown in the trash. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Credit: Spencer Platt

Credit: Spencer Platt

Plastic bag bans in some U.S. cities and other places around the world appear to be having an impact. The bags are getting harder to find in the ocean, a new study finds.

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According to the Independent, efforts to combat plastic pollution are proving successful as the number of plastic bags found on the ocean floor seemed to have declined.

Government scientists analyzed 25 years' worth of ocean litter in the waters surrounding the United Kingdom.

The decline in plastic bags is seen as promising proof that policies limiting the bags’ usage are helping reduce plastic pollution. However, due to an increase in other sorts of plastic waste, the amount of trash remained constant throughout the years, the Independent reported.

Explore>> Related: Great Pacific Garbage Patch 16 times larger than estimates: 87,000 tons of plastic and growing

The plastic bag ban in Austin, Texas initially resulted in 200 million fewer bags a year, the American-Statesman reported in 2015. Despite the ban's impact, it has remained controversial and was most recently contested by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in June 2017, when he urged the Texas Supreme Court to do away with bag bans across the state. The case was argued earlier this year, but the court has not issued a ruling yet.