CVS charging for paper bags before law in effect

City says it will reach out to CVS to correct mist
Posted at 4:38 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 19:38:36-04

Nancy Rubinstein says a local pharmacy chain is charging for plastic bags - months before California's bag ban goes into effect. It made her so angry, she says she'll never shop there again.

In August the city of San Diego passed an ordinance on charging for plastic bags.  But that ordinance was not supposed to go into effect until April. That's when customers will have to either bring their own bags or pay 10 cents for a recycled brown bag.

Rubinstein said she acknowledges the ordinance will go into effect, but says it's not Spring yet so she should not have to pay for bags at the CVS in Pacific Beach.  

"All of a sudden there were big yellow signs at every register, saying the ordinance was already in effect," she said. 

Rubinstein asked to speak to the manager, who told her that the store was now required to charge 10 cents a bag. From there, the answers got more confusing.

"And the first time I asked what law and they said, 'oh corporate came up with this policy,'" Rubinstein said. "So when I came back I said you're sign is wrong, it's not required now, but in six to twelve months! They said no, it's required now."

Rubinstein insists, it's not about the money.

"I won't give them 10 cents," Rubinstein said. "It's the principal. I really don't like the little person being taken advantage of."

So instead of paying for the bags, she went without. 

"I took everything out in a shopping cart and put it in the back of my car and took it home. No bags." she said. "Why? Because they're lying. And it was the last time I ever shopped there. I now shop at rite aid across the street."

We contacted the city and they said they will reach out to CVS and educate the store about when to implement the ordinance.

The bag ban does not end with that August ordinance though. On the November 8 ballot you will see proposition 67. If that proposition passes, the ban on plastic bags goes into effect immediately and San Diego's ordinance will be repealed. 

RELATED: San Diego City Council approves plastic bag ban, 10-cent surcharge