WATSONVILLE — As Watsonville’s single-use plastic bag ban reaches its one-year anniversary on Saturday, city shoppers who neglect to bring their reusable bag to checkout can expect to pay 25 cents for a paper bag, up from 10 cents.
The city’s single use bag ordinance passed last April was one of the first in the county, second only to the Santa Cruz County ban passed months earlier, and over the year has shown success in changing shoppers’ behavior.
Save Our Shores, a marine advocacy group who holds regular beach and waterway cleanups in the region, conducted a survey in February at local stores such as Target, Grocery Outlet and Mi Pueblo that showed a significant increase in the use of reusable bags by shoppers.
Save Our Shores found that 65 percent of customers now use reusable bags, compared to only one percent in 2011.
The single-use paper bag surcharge does not apply to customers participating in California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), SNAP or other government subsidized food purchase program for low-income residents.
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