OK's 10-cent fee to use paper bags


SANTA CRUZ — The City Council approved sweeping new environmental regulations Tuesday, unanimously passing bans on single-use plastic bags and foam products.

In nine months, grocery stores and other retailers will be outlawed from selling or providing plastic bags, with some exceptions for wet food or covering produce. Restaurants are exempt from the ban, a compromise that has helped cleared the way for similar bans in the county and other communities.

“We have the opportunity to demonstrate for own family and children ... that we must get away from single-use mentality,” Chris Reeves, an educator at Long Marine Lab, said in support of the ban.

The new rule, designed to reduce the amount of plastic bags found on beaches, streets and waterways, encourages retailers to sell or provide reusable bags. It requires retailers to charge customers 10 cents for each paper bag given away, and the city will review the effectiveness of the fee after a year.


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