Watsonville, California, Sept. 7, 2012 (PBBR) - The City of Watsonville, California will implement its Single-Use Bag Ordinance today. The ban on plastic bags was passed by the City Council in April of this year.
The ordinance prohibits all retailers from providing single-use plastic bags at checkout and requires merchants to charge a fee of ten cents for each recyclable paper bag that is furnished to the customer. The paper bag fee will rise to twenty-five cents next year.
Of course, the ordinance will not apply to restaurants. It seems that the unfounded threat of legal action against cities that implement bans including restaurants has served to ensure that restaurants are excluded. A proper legal challenge to this idea from a few cities would put an end to this threat. See: Can't Ban Plastic Bags in California Restaurants?
The ban on single-use plastic bags and the charge on single-use paper bags would not 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. Other examples include: paper bags to protect bottles, plastic bags around ice cream or other wet items, paper bags used to weigh candy, paper pharmacy bags or paper bags to protect greeting cards.
Watsonville is situated on the central coast of California in Santa Cruz County who passed a plastic bag ban last year. The City of Santa Cruz has also passed its own ban of plastic bags and polystyrene.
To read the full ordinance for the City of Watsonville, see Single Use Bag Ordinance on the city's website.