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California City of Santa Cruz Nears Bag Ban

Santa Cruz is the latest California city or county poised to ban plastic carryout bags.

The Santa Cruz city council passed a ban on first reading, says Scott Collins, assistant to the city manager, in an interview. He calls it “a formality” that the law will get passed on a final reading July 24.

The new law would ban all plastic carryout bags except for restaurants and loose items such as meat and produce, Collins says. There would be a 10-cent charge for any single paper carryout bag.

Businesses will have up to nine months after the law is passed to prepare for enforcement.

Santa Cruz has a population of about 59,000. Its county, Santa Cruz, already implemented a bag ban for unincorporated parts, and the city of Watsonville in the county also has implemented a law, Collins says.

The city of Santa Cruz has a recycling rate of 5 percent for plastic bags and 65 percent for paper bags.

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