Fresno shoppers on Tuesday shared a mixed bag of reactions to Gov. Jerry Brown signing the first statewide ban of single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores.
Standing outside Target in Fresno's Riverpark, Trezia Krummen, 25, of Chowchilla said of Brown's decision: "If it's better for the world, then it's great -- any little step helps.
"It always makes me happy to find out somebody important is trying to help. There's so many little steps we need to make."
The student at Clovis Community College Center brings a tote bag to the grocery store and reuses plastic bags that have collected at her home.
Never miss a local story.
She hopes the new law will inspire more people to shop with reusable bags. If everyone did, she said, "Hey, a lot could happen. We'd see some change."
But another shopper, leaving Target with a cart full of items bagged in plastic, was not happy about the new law.
"It's ridiculous," said Michael Bennett, 51, of Fresno. "There's a whole lot of other ways we can be protecting the environment. ... A lot of people save their plastic bags and then reuse them for other purposes in the house. Getting rid of plastic bags isn't really going to do much to save our environment."
A woman leaving Target echoed had a similar perspective: The plastic bags are "just the right size" to fit inside her trash can at home.
She recalled shopping at a grocery store in a Southern California city that previously banned plastic bags, in part to help keep beaches clean.
"They can do that (ban plastic bags) over closer to the beaches. I don't live by the beach."
What's her thought about plastic bags accumulating in Central Valley landfills?
"Have a good day," she said, declining to share her name.
Jake Cox, 33, of Coarsegold said, "I feel like anyone who is opposed to this (ban) -- and this is going to sound harsh -- but I think it's ignorance. It's time to wake up."
Cox, a Fresno City College student getting ready to join the police academy, forgot his canvas bags while shopping at Sprouts Farmers Market in Riverpark. So he just wheeled his grocery cart full of unbagged food -- except for a few fruits and vegetables -- and his 2-year-old daughter to the truck.
Also an archer who hunts deer and turkey for meat, Cox said society is too focused on convenience. "We wouldn't die if we didn't have half this crap," Cox said -- and added that plastic bags fall into that "not needed" category.
Most plastic, including bags and packaging for food, ends up in a dump, he said, and "it's never going to go away."
He has questions about how the new law will translate to stores, which will start phasing out plastic bags next summer, but overall, he said "this should have been done a long time ago."
Cox tries to be a "conscious and aware" consumer.
"I'm going to do the best I can to teach my kids how to make conscious decisions about things they do, and how it's going to affect the world. We may not make a big difference, but I think if you attempt to live your life in a fashion that at least sets a good example, that's all we can do."