MONTEREY, Calif.- Plastic bags are a thing of the past at many check-out stands across the Central Coast. In fact, all single-use plastic bags are getting harder to find because more and more cities and counties are banning them or charging you to take a paper bag home. But is there a reusable bag loophole in Monterey? We decided to find out.
The City of Monterey, Santa Cruz County and Bay Area locations like Santa Clara County, San Jose and San Francisco have kicked the plastic sack to the curb. But in Monterey, there are several reasons why you can still find them.
Not every business is banned from using plastic bags. Restaurants and take-out places that make at least 90 percent of their sales off of food they make on site like Chinese restaurants, can offer it's customers a plastic bag.
As of January 1st, Monterey bumped the price a store has to charge for carry-out bags from 10 cents to 25 cents. But some shoppers say they don't mind.
"It did not hurt to pay for the bag. We experience that at quite a number of places," said Monterey shopper Luana Morris.
While others said they would rather just carry their purchase.
"I could pay for a bag or carry it out just in the box and I opted for the box," said Monterey shopper Frank Ringer.
But I found out some stores have opted for a different type of plastic bag, they can offer customers for free. The City of Monterey said it has to be a durable plastic bag with handles that are at least 2.25 mm thick, specifically designed and manufactured for reuse.
Monterey County is also working on finalizing a plan for banning plastic bags in stores in unincorporated areas of the county by this summer. Santa Cruz is looking at a plan similar to the one Monterey has, charging for carry-out bags.