California to ban plastic bags statewide

plastic bag ban

PALM DESERT, Calif. - It's time to stock up on reusable bags, California is saying goodbye to plastic bags. 

The statewide ban was one of several historic bills sent to the Governor's desk before state lawmakers wrapped up their two-year session Saturday morning.  This will make California the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

It's a move that several Desert Cities have already taken, but not everyone who shops in the Valley is ready for the change.

"Plastic bags are very convenient for me," said shopper Mary Gonzalez.

Gonzalez says she isn't ready to give up plastic just yet.

"I do a lot of shopping, I come from out of town, so I like the plastic bags.  They are much better, they are easy to handle and I throw everything in an ice chest and double bag in the back and I don't have to worry about anything spilling," said Gonzales. 

"The plastic bags are convenient but personally it doesn't make a difference to me," said shopper Paul Friend.

If the bill is signed into law, in 2015 you won't see plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies.  Convenience stores and liquor stores will follow suit in 2016.  Lawmakers hope this will reduce the buildup of plastic waste, but Gonalez says doesn't throw the bags away after one use

"We recycle, we use them for other things too," said Gonalez. "Trash and carrying things and sometimes clothes just things that we have to take to other people."  

"I think it's a horrible idea especially when you are disabled," said shopper Danny Rodgers.  "You always forget the bags, so these plastic bags haven't hurt anybody, so why take it out of the state? I shop outside of Los Angeles just so I can get plastic bags."

"Things can happen like cross contamination, leaving them in the car too long or not getting all of the moisture out of them and you have to end up tossing them away anyway," said shopper Courtney Rodgers.

If you forget your reusable bags, stores will be able to charge 10 cents for paper or reusable bags.

"We already do it at one store, I don't think its that big of an inconvenience for us.  It's kind of nice, these bags are heavier, these tend to break, to me it doesn't make a difference, I'm OK with it," said Friend.  

The bill also includes $2 million in loans to help manufacturers shift to producing reusable bags.

The bill won't affect existing bans like in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, and Indio.

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