April 20, 2010

Great News: The Santa Cruz County Plastic Bag Ban Gains Approval


The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors recently voted in unanimous support of an ordinance to ban the use of plastic bags at retail shops and impose a surcharge on paper bags. The goal is to cut down on the amount of plastic bags found in our oceans, harming marine life, and littering our waterways, while promoting reusable bags as an energy saving, environmentally responsible, and simple alternative to plastic bags. Save Our Shores has been working tirelessly on the Plastic Bag Ban Campaign for years now, and from June 2007 – March 2010 help remove over 19,887 plastic bags during beach and river cleanups. Read more about SOS Plastic Bag Ban efforts...

The ordinance, originally sponsored by Supervisor Mark Stone, calls for a 10-cent fee for every paper bag used, eventually rising to a 25-cents per bag, with the revenue collected to be kept by the retailer to provide funds to implement no-bag programs, such as offering reusable bags for a low price.

The plastic bag ordinance will have to wait for an EIR (Environmental Impact Review) to thwart off opposition and lawsuits that have occurred during similar plastic bag ban efforts in other locations (such as Berkeley –vs- the American Chemistry Council). And because the proposed ordinance will only affect retailers in the unincorporated communities (thus Santa Cruz County, not the City of Santa Cruz), there is strong will and support by the cities of Santa Cruz County to quickly follow the positive example that Santa Cruz County will be setting once the plastic bag ban is enacted.

For more information...

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