Props For Santa Cruz County Plastic Bag Ban

April 29, 2013—It’s been just over a year since Santa Cruz County outlawed single-use plastic bags at stores in unincorporated parts of the county. And even though people are divided over the issue of a paper bag fee increase, there is broad consensus on the ban’s efficacy: 77 percent of respondents to a March 22 survey said they thought the ban has had a “good” impact on the environment.

Of the remaining respondents, 21 percent said the plastic bag ban has had “some” impact, and 2 percent said it has had “little to no” impact. It’s worth noting that some of the respondents, while supportive of the ban, said it didn’t go far enough.

The survey, conducted by Save Our Shores and Santa Cruz-based crowdsourced ideation platform Civinomics one year after the ban went into effect, is not intended to be statistically accurate. But it’s a good snapshot of local opinion. Surveyers posted themselves outside four grocery stores in unincorporated Santa Cruz County: Deluxe Foods in Aptos, Safeway on 41st Ave, Felton Safeway and Ben Lomond Market.

Asked what they thought about the cost of a paper bag rising from 10 cents to 25 cents, as it did on the day of the survey, 43 percent of respondents said they supported the fee increase, 37 percent said they opposed it and 20 percent said they were indifferent.

Opposition to the fee increase was lowest in Ben Lomond (22 percent) and highest in the Soquel/Capitola area represented by the Safeway on 41st Ave (46 percent).

In related news, last week the ban went into effect for restaurants in unincorporated Santa Cruz County. Restaurants were given a year to figure out how to replace single-use plastic bags for carryout orders.

Read more: Capitola Bans Plastic Bags