Under a new partnership, Bunzl Distribution USA is offering Command Packaging’s reusable plastic bags – Smarterbags – to grocers where bans have eliminated ultrathin T-shirt bags.

In California, the biggest ban to date — in Los Angeles — took effect Jan. 1 at grocery retail chains. Shoppers there must now bring totes or pay a dime for paper sacks. Smaller, independent operations won’t have to comply with the ban until July 1.

About 90 cities, including San Francisco, and counties in the state have similar laws and ordinances. So far, the issue has been legislated locally.

Plastic bags continue to have a role in grocery despite the environmental concerns that prompt such bans, according to Pete Grande, chief executive officer of Vernon, Calif.-based Command Packaging.

“We’re innovating ways to make them better and changing age-old perceptions about their shortcomings,” Grande said in a news release.

“Pete and his company are committed to providing a viable, long-term solution to the upcoming bag ban in Los Angeles, as well as to bans springing up across the country,” Terry Frank, senior vice president of Bunzl Distribution USA, said in the release.

Smarterbags are designed to be used 125 times and meet reusability requirements of the various California local bans, according to Command Packaging. They’re made from recycled agricultural plastic. The company opened Encore Recycling in Salinas last fall to help increase production.

Information on Smarterbags is available through Erin Grande, national sales manager, at erin@smarterbags.com.

“It’s important to us that we give our customers an opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever we can,” Frank said.