Lawmakers narrowly approved a plastic bag ban. The Senate approved the measure 22-15 on Friday.
It’s been a controversial bill heavily lobbied on both sides in and is now in the hands of Governor Jerry Brown.
Around 100 California jurisdictions (county and/or cities) already have adopted similar bans, including San Luis Obispo County and some cities in Santa Barbara County.
People in the city of Santa Maria don’t pay extra for single use plastic bags or paper bags. They may soon have to pay extra or carry reusable bags.
SLO County lawmakers adopted the ban on plastic bags with a 10 cent minimum price requirement on paper bags in 2012. It includes unincorporated areas of the county and all incorporated cities.
Sandy Bell, a San Luis Obispo resident, said “Coming from the bay area, they [plastic bags] were all over the place, blowing in the streets. They’re just a mess.”
The ban on plastic bags is found in some Santa Barbara County cities like Carpentaria, Ojai, and the city of Santa Barbara.
Victor Kernef, a Santa Maria resident who shops at San Luis Obispo County grocery stores every Saturday, said , “It’s not banned in Santa Maria, but we do try to take our own bags even down there."
If passed, the measure would California the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. While some people said the transition could be smooth for them not everybody agrees.
Visiting SLO County from Bakersfield, David Grosz said, “I think lawmakers are passing too many laws in California, and I don’t think they should ban plastic bags, and they want to charge extra? That’s just ridiculous.”
Grosz said the plastic bags aren’t wasteful because he reuses them. “We turn around and use them for trash bags and a lot of different things.”