PALM DESERT, Calif. -

The Palm Desert City Council is expected to vote Thursday night on a plastic shopping bag ban.

Three Valley cities -- Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs and Indio -- have already voted to ban the bags.

The ban in Palm Desert would fall in line with a model ordinance approved by the Coachella Valley Association of Governments.

If it goes through, it would start April 1, 2015, for large stores like supermarkets.

Smaller retailers have until Oct. 1, 2015.

Instead of plastic, merchants in Palm Desert would be required to make reusable bags available for customers to purchase or paper bags at a cost of 10 cents per  bag.

"The 10 cent charge goes to the retailer.  It's not a tax, it stays with the retailers to offset the cost of only providing paper," said Tony Bagato, principal planner for the city of Palm Desert.

Restaurants, nonprofit food banks and thrift stores would be exempt from eliminating plastic bags.  At grocery stores - plastic bags would be permitted
for meat, produce and items like ice cream - that need to be separated from other food.

If the Palm Desert City Council passes the plastic bag ban Thursday night, a second reading would be scheduled for April 24 for final approval.