- Sacramento is now the 146th California municipality to adopt a plastic bags ban, meaning shoppers at grocery stores, convenience stores, and large pharmacies must bring their own bags or other containers, or pay 10 cents for a paper or reusable plastic bag.
- The Sacramento City Council unanimously approved the ban after a similar state law was put on hold, pending the outcome of a referendum to overturn the legislation. The plastic bag industry has invested $3 million to get the anti-bag ban referendum on this coming November’s ballot. If voters overturn the state law, Sacramento’s ban will remain in effect. Elsewhere the referendum must be voted down for the state law to take precedence.
- More than a third of Californians are now subject to a plastics bags ban, including in Davis, Chico, Truckee, Nevada City, and South Lake Tahoe.
Environmentalists and Sacramento officials say the bags are burdening their landfills, littering their roads and waterways, and clogging recycling machinery. Conversely, the plastic bag industry said the law will have no environmental benefit but rather fill the pockets of retailers at shoppers’ expense. Huntington Beach recently repealed its instituted plastic bag ban.
So far in Sacramento, the new law has drawn mixed reactions.
Patty Welch of Granite Bay and her husband refused to pay for a bag at their local supermarket in North Natomas; rather they carried their groceries in their arms. "I’m not a happy camper about it," Welch said to The Sacramento Bee. "I probably won’t be doing much shopping in Sacramento anymore."
But many shoppers brought their own bags or paid for them.
"It’s probably about 50/50 in terms of people knowing about [the ban], but the ones who were unprepared were really bitter," said Damon Moreno, who works at a Sacramento Raley’s grocery store, to The Bee. "There’s a lot of educating people that needs to happen."
Moreno’s take is that shoppers can easily avoid additional charges; he said that clerks and baggers will fill just about any container with groceries.