Sacramento’s Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban Now in Effect

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SACRAMENTO --

Sacramentans will no longer receive free plastic bags at retailers starting today.

In the 13 years working as a cashier at the Shell gas station in South Sacramento, Raj Tandel has never had to tell his customers: "I say no more bag."

Effective January 1, 2016, all grocery stores, large pharmacies, convenience and big-box stores like Walmart and Target in the city of Sacramento are banned from giving out single-use plastic bags. The aim is to reduce the 14 million plastic bags Sacramento retailers used to hand out to customers every month.

While customers are aware of the new law, some say it may some take time getting used to.

"We're not perfect people, so we will forget about taking bags or we'll buy bags," customer Andy Vega said.

The new law affects about 400 stores citywide.

Officials recommend customers now bring in their own reusable bags. Alternatively, they can purchase paper bag for 10 cents each.

Gas station owner Amarjit Dhillon said he will try to help his customers with the transition as best he can.

"We have some big bags. Reusable bags. We sell them, or if we can give them free once in a while, let them get used to it," Dhillon said.

Vega said from now on, he will try his best to remember to bring his reusable bags. But he also let FOX40 in on his secret to never forgetting.

"I probably won't do the shopping. I'll have my wife to go do it for me," Vega laughed.

There are some exceptions though: Produce bags at grocery stores will still be available and restaurants, to-go-orders and delis will continue to use plastic bags. Lawmakers allowed these exceptions for health and food safety reasons.

The proposed statewide ban will appear on the November 2016 ballot.