Santa Cruz County To Approve Plastic Bag Ban

Santa Cruz County To Approve Plastic Bag Ban


The County of Santa Cruz, California, USA is set to adopt an ordinance banning plastic bags Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011.  Known as the Bag Reduction Ordinance, the law will also establish a fee for paper bags.  The ordinance will affect retail.establishments within the unincorporated County of Santa Cruz.

The ordinance was passed in concept on Sept. 13th by the County Board of Supervisors but will receive final approval at the meeting on the 20th.  The effective date will be six months from the date of final approval.


The ordinance states that it is the County's intention to eliminate the use of single-use plastic carry-out bags and encourage the use of reusable bags.  Therefore, plastic bags can no longer be given out by the retailer and a fee will be charged for paper bags.

The first year, the fee for paper bags will be ten cents and, the following year, that fee is increased to twenty-five cents. The fee is intended to make the consumer buy and use reusable bags because more energy is used to manufacture paper bags.


The ordinance specifically defines plastic bags, paper bags, reusable bags and other terms.  Single-use paper carryout bags may be distributed by food vendors for the transportation of prepared take-out food intended for consumption off the food vendor's premises without charging a fee.  Also, the ban nor the fee will apply to plastic or paper bags used to protect produce, meat, or otherwise used to protect items as they are put into a carryout bag at checkout.

However, the ban does apply to County of Santa Cruz contractors and special events promoters, and their vendors, who will not be allowed to provide single-use plastic carryout bags to participants while performing under a County of Santa Cruz contract or permit.

Photo: Map of State of California, USA showing Santa Cruz County. Located on the coast, Santa Cruz County is adjacent to the counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Monterey, which includes Monterey Bay.

See other plastic bag bans in California.

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