Santa Clarita says goodbye to plastic bags

A sign reminds shoppers to bring their reusable bags at the Albertsons on Copper Hill Drive on Oct. 7, 2014. KATHARINE LOTZE/Signal.

It did not take long for Santa Clarita stores to remove plastic bags from their checkout stands.

California’s statewide ban on single-use plastic carryout bags was narrowly approved by voters Nov. 8 with 52 percent voting for Proposition 67.

The proposition requires grocery stores, large food retail stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, food marts and liquor stores to charge at least 10 cents for carryout bags at registers.

Although the law does not go into effect until next month, stores in the valley are already charging customers for reusable plastic bags.

At the Walmart off Carl Boyer Drive in Santa Clarita, customers were seen carrying out the store’s new bags featuring a green logo Monday afternoon.  Some forked up the 10 cents per bag, while others opted to carry out their items in their hands.

Almost everyone the Signal spoke with outside the supercenter was frustrated that the ban just passed and that stores were already charging for carryout bags.

Maria Isaias chose not to pay the 10-cent fee and carried her groceries out with no bags.

“I’m not going to purchase anything,” she said.  “I’m surprised by how quickly things went into effect.”

Brent Ruff was armed with at least 10 reusable bags as he exited the store.  He had purchased the cloth bags years earlier when stores around his home near Magic Mountain began banning plastic bags.

“It’s horrible… I live over by Magic Mountain and most of the stores there have the bag bans already,” Ruff said.  “I would shop over here because they had plastic bags you could use.”

He is now in the routine of carrying the reusable bags into stores, but said that this practice took him years to remember.

“The first year or two years I forgot my bags and wasn’t used to it,” he said.

Joel from Saugus, who asked for his last name not to be used, said he hated the bag ban, but that he will continue to pay the fees instead of purchasing reusable bags.

“I voted against it,” he said.  “But I’ll keep paying the 10-cent fee.”

Some stores were charging even more. Vons in Saugus charged customers 15-cents for reusable, recyclable plastic bags and 10-cents for paper bags.

Patti Chisler and Ginger Larkins, who were carrying out a mix of plastic bags and reusable bags, shared similar sentiments against the bag fee.

“It sucks.  I voted against it,” Chisler said.  “I’m surprised to see it started so quickly after the tax passed.”


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