Plastic bag ban: Good for the environment, bad for your wallet? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Plastic bag ban: Good for the environment, bad for your wallet?

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The San Diego City Council is expected to consider a plastic bag ban later this year. Supporters say it's better for environment, but opponents say it could make things worse for consumers.

If you ask Bishop McKinney, a bag ban just doesn't make sense.

"Sometimes I look at the things our government is doing and I just shake my head," he said.

On Thursday, he and others spoke out against a city proposal that would ban plastic bags in grocery stores and charge shoppers 10 cents for each paper bag.

"Thirty eight percent of San Diego households can't afford the basic costs of living. Friends, we're doing something wrong, and this bag tax will only make things worse," he said.

Opponents also say the 10 cent charge is just another money maker for stores, and would cost hundreds of millions a year.

"Corporate giants would be making a lot of money on the backs of the working families. Really on the backs of all Californians," Neighborhood Market Association President Mark Arabo said.

Jose Ysea with the city says the goal is to get shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. It would help the environment and actually cost people less.

"It won't cost them a dime, literally, because if they're using reusable bags they won't have to pay the 10-cent surcharge on paper bags. And that's why the surcharge is there, to make people avoid jumping from plastic to paper," he said.

And they say if shoppers aren't paying for those bags, stores wouldn't be making extra money off them. Ysea says many districts in the state do this, and San Diego is behind the times.

"It's an ordinance that's time has come. And to say it's going to be a burden on low income, that's simply not true," he said.

Opponents also worry the 10-cent charge for paper bags will force people to do their grocery shopping out of San Diego, for example, in a city like Poway. Supporters say once San Diego passes this, so will surrounding cities. The City Council is expected to vote on the proposed bag ban in late summer.

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