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Grocery stores, convenience stores and shoppers all brace for the Pasadena plastic bag ban, which goes into effect on Sunday.
Pasadena’s bag ban goes into effect on Sunday, ridding grocery stores of the plastic bags that frequently end up as litter on the streets. Shoppers will also have to pay an extra 10 cents to use a paper bag instead of a reusable grocery tote.
The environmentally friendly move follows the Pasadena City Council’s unanimous November decision to adopt a plastic bag ban. While larger stores and chains have until July 1 to comply, convenience stores have until December to put the ban in place.
The city sees the plan as another step in its Green City Action Plan to ensure a safe environment for Pasadena residents. The ban aims to help cut landfill waste, “[reduce] the use of disposable product category ... [conserve] energy and natural resources and [help] to promote a clean and sustainable environment,” according to the City Planning Department.
Pasadena locals say the new ban is a step in the right direction. At the neighborhood Vons on California Boulevard, many shoppers came in toting their own bags in advance of the ban.
“I’m thinking about that huge pollution area out in the pacific, which is largely because of single bags. … Having recycled bags such as the one I’m carrying …really is the way folks should go,” said Jim Raney, 59, who lives nearby. “I’m all in support of getting rid of the single plastic bags.”
Down the street at Trader Joe’s, plastic bags are hardly in sight. A host of colorful reusable bags hangs from the walls, encouraging shoppers to make environmentally conscious decisions. Next to them dangles an insulated “big black bag” for heavier groceries.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a burden at all,” said Steven McCabe, 33, laughing off the idea that the ban is troublesome.
Others disagreed... but still supported the ban.
"It is an extra burden — however, it’s worth it," said Joanne Saraceno. "It’s not gonna kill me. I’ll just go, 'Oh darn, I left my bag,' and I’ll pay the 10 cents."
The ban puts Pasadena on the state’s growing list of cities with similar laws, like Long Beach, San Francisco and unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County.
“They really should just ban them altogether and make everybody get their own bag,” McCabe said.