On November 15, the Santa Cruz Transportation and Public Works Commission voted to move ahead with the process of a proposed ban on single-use carryout plastic bags. The Commission recommended the City produce a year-long study on the economic impacts of the ban to local businesses, along with a list of potential exemptions based on the study's results.
The proposed ordinance would ban plastic bags from grocery stores and restaurants, and place a ten cent charge on paper bags. Opponents of the ordinance cite economic hardships to pay the paper bag charge or to purchase reusable bags, as well as logistical and health concerns from carrying food products in paper or alternative bags. Supporters of the ban cite the environmental and economic benefits of reduced plastic bag waste.
In addition to the ban, the Commission also recommended the City's Climate Action Plan to City Council.