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Governor Signs Statewide Plastic Bag Ban

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law banning single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies that will go into effect July 1, 2015 for the entire state of California.

Convenience and liquor stores will get an extra year to make the switch to reusable bags. The new law is the first of its kind in the country.

Florence Huebner, 97, was glad to hear she won’t be the only one using reusable bags at the grocery store. She believes the one-time use bags are polluting the environment.

“That’s unhealthy,” she said pointing to a plastic bag.

The new statewide ban will make sure Californians cut out the plastic.

“It’s pretty progressive,” said Curtis Takaichi, a Goleta resident.

The ban isn’t new to some cities in California. More than 120 local governments already have a plastic bag ban in place including Ojai, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach and Paso Robles.

Patricia Bucciarelli reuses old paper bags and keeps them in the back of her car. She said she’s used to it.

“I live in Europe part of the time and we’ve had a ban for the last four years. So we bring our own bags and it’s not a problem,” she said.

Some shoppers don’t like the state telling them what they can and can’t put their groceries in. Others just have to get used to the idea.

“Well, I think it’s a good thing, but it is inconvenient when you forget to bring your bags. Then you end up paying an extra 10 cents (for a paper or reusable plastic bag),” said Max August, a Santa Barbara resident.

Huebner said she too used to forget, but now has tips on how to remember to bring bags to the store.

“I used to put it on the door, you know. Or by your car keys, or by your purse,” she said.

The new state law will grandfather in local existing ordinances.

There is also money attached to the law. Businesses will have $2 million in loans available to help transition to the reusable bags.

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