Sunday, April 28, 2013

Civinomics: One Year Later: Citizens Say Program Working But Fee Not Popular


Three-fourths of survey respondents cite positive effect on the environment; divisions remain on paper bag fee.
April 17, 2013—A year after Santa Cruz County outlawed single-use plastic bags, the ban is widely viewed as effective, with 77 percent of survey respondents saying it’s had a “good” impact on the environment. Twenty-one percent say the ban has had “some” impact, while 2 percent say the ban has had “little to no” impact.

Santa Cruz County shoppers expressed mixed feelings about the fee increase on paper bags, which rose from $.10 to $.25 on March 22. Of those surveyed, 43 percent answered that they “support” the fee increase, while 37 percent stated that they were “opposed.” The remaining 20 percent said they were “indifferent.”

Some respondents openly expressed support for the ban but said the fee posed an unnecessary burden for shoppers. “I support the ban, but not the fee,” said one shopper. Another cited concerns about hardship on low-income residents.

Some respondents said the ban doesn’t go far enough. “It's arbitrary, we still use plastic in so many ways from meats and produce to all the plastic wrapping in commercial foods,” commented one respondent. “If you are going to ban plastic go all the way.”

Save Our Shores and Civinomics conducted the survey on March 22 outside Deluxe Foods in Rio Del Mar, Safeway on 41st Avenue, Safeway in Felton, and Ben Lomond Market. The data was collected and compiled by Civinomics. Due to the sampling methodology employed, it is not intended to be statistically representative.

Civinomics is a Santa Cruz technology company. Its mission is to provide communities with tools to increase civic participation and awareness. It’s currently hosting online workshops about local issues affecting Santa Cruz County at

Save Our Shores is a 501(c)3 non-profit marine conservation organization in Santa Cruz, California. Their mission is to care for the marine environment through ocean awareness, advocacy and citizen action.


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Contact: Robert Singleton

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