Despite the coronavirus pandemic, our City of Santa Cruz remains committed to fostering a greener community through waste reduction. This is especially challenging as bringing reusable bags into stores has been restricted by some retailers at this time.



Still, you don’t have to take a bag from the store!  A simple solution is to load your groceries back into your cart upon purchase and then bag them at your car.

Our City Single-Use Bag Reduction Ordinance is still in effect although given the pandemic, retailers can use their discretion to waive the 25 cent paper bag fee or not.



Retailers can also use their discretion to accept personal shopping bags or not. Some stores allow them but then require customers to bag their own groceries. Single-use bags remain prohibited as detailed in the ordinance.



As store policies vary, a rule that you can follow everywhere—whether at the grocery store, drug store, or when shopping for other essential items— is to decline taking any bags from the retailer.  Instead, use your shopping cart to transport items to your vehicle and bag them there in your own personal bags brought from home.

For more waste reduction suggestions, please visit There you will find videos and an interactive What Goes Where Guide that answers any questions you may have.


City Beat

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