plastic bag ban

California State Assembly Approves Plastic Bag Ban

California looks poised to become the first state to pass a plastic bag ban. Senate Bill 270, which passed out of the Assembly on a 44-29 vote, would phase out single-use plastic bags starting in 2015. A vote on the issue failed earlier this week, but it’s now expected to move through the Senate.

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Council to Discuss Success of Plastic Bag Ban, New Fire Engines

That single-use plastic bag ban worked. The city enacted the 10-cent charge and San Jose’s shoppers adapted accordingly, bringing their own reusable bags instead of opting for single-use recycled paper bags, according to city staff. It’s a good thing, too, because that good behavior is pushing the city to consider canceling a fee increase that would have come into effect Jan. 1, upping the price-per-paper bag to 25 cents. Other items on Tuesday;‘s City Council agenda include a $5 million settlement with a Halloween partier who was shot 20 times by police and the potential pick up of two new fire engines.

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City Council Expected to Pass EPS Ban

After months of outreach trying to get restaurants used to the idea, the city’s moving ahead with its ban on Styrofoam-style take-out containers, a uniquely problematic type of litter because of the way expanded polystyrene (EPS) breaks apart and infiltrates the region’s waterways. On Tuesday, the City Council will discuss the controversial ban slated to go into effect Jan. 1. Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include a jobs development program with Work2Future and a service agreement with the San Jose Downtown Association.


City Balks on EPS Ban After $100K Offer

It seems some people at City Hall just don’t know how to accept a bribe anymore. All of last year, the city held public meetings about a potential ban on expanded polystyrene. It seemed like it would be no big thing, especially after passing a plastic bag ban. That is until December rolled around, and DART—a food-packaging company that manufactures EPS products—offered San Jose $100,000 to look at other ways to meet the city’s trash-reduction goals by 2014.

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Few Complain to City about Bag Ban

In the first two months of implementation, the city’s plastic bag ban yielded positive environmental results and few complaints, according to a memo sent out Friday by Kerrie Romanow, acting director of the Environmental Services Department. So far, the ESD has received 25 calls from the public expressing concerns or “an unfavorable comment” about the ordinance between October 2011 and February 2012, Romanow writes.


Plastic or Cloth?

It is well known that the city of San Jose is on its way to banning single-use plastic bags starting in Jan 2011. An ordinance will come back to Council in 2010 for final adoption which will contain different options. The most problematic option I could see is a fee put on single-use bags.


Paper or Plastic?

The San Jose City Council is moving forward with its efforts to reduce the volume of plastic bags being used (and discarded) in the city.  By now, everyone’s heard, that an estimated one million plastic bags end up in San Francisco Bay every year. 

Perhaps bringing re-useable bags to the grocery store will soon become a common practice and habit that requires very little thinking.  And, perhaps the new requirements will generate measurable results.  But I do think that there are a couple of questions surrounding this issues that have received very little attention so far.


Bag Ban in the Works

San Jose moved one step closer yesterday to implementing a citywide Bring Your Own Bag policy. A four-member City Council committee voted unanimously to prohibit grocery stores and major retailers from handing out plastic bags to their customers. Taking the issue one step further, they also voted to ban most paper bags, unless they are made of at least 50 percent recycled material. Even then, customers will be required to pay a fee in order to receive the paper bags.