Oct 1, 2012 9:30 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News

Plastic is out, paper will cost you, reusable is on the rise

Paper or plastic?

You won't be hearing that much any more in San Luis Obispo County as of today.

Back in January the county passed an ordinance banning the use of plastic bags by most stores in the county starting today.

Larger stores, such as supermarkets and department stores, are allowed to distribute paper bags, but will have to charge at least 10 cents per bag.

The ban is just for stores bigger than $10,000 square feet. But there are almost 400 of them throughout the county.

Some of them, like target, have been reminding customers for about a month now to bring those reusable bags.

The Integrated Waste Management Authority Board says the ban is part of an effort to become more environmentally friendly.

Some stores may not carry paper bags at all after today.

The change has many shoppers debating its convenience.

"I think it's actually a good idea because it is really harmful to our environment and most of them end up in the ocean," Jessica Wagner, of San Luis Obispo, said. "I'm kind of big on saving the world so, at least, this is a step in a good direction."

"I have a lot of shopping, I didn't want to spend an extra five or 10 dollars," Adam Burrows, of San Luis Obispo, said. "I guess we don't have a choice. Some of these things just happen and we have to deal with it."

Stores are required to have reusable bags available to sell.

They can also pack purchases in cardboard boxes-free of charge.

The ban isn't only for grocery stores, however. Even places like Forever 21 and Sports Authority have to follow the rules.

Stores in Santa Barbara County are not enforcing the plastic bag ban.



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