The bill would require retailers to charge at least 10 cents for a recycled paper bag.
Five cents would go to the city or town for enforcement of the ban. The remainder would go to the retailer to cover the cost of paper bags.
More than 100 Massachusetts communities have already passed plastic bag bans.
Some small businesses argue the bill would increase costs for store owners and shoppers.
Democratic Sen. President Karen Spilka said she was inspired after a trip to Vancouver and Alaska this summer where she learned sea animals can starve to death because of the plastic in their stomachs.
The Senate will debate the bill Wednesday.
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