San José going green: Will bags be sacked?

plastic bags -- should they be banned?

Plastic bags -- should they be banned?

This week, the City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee met to discuss a ban on plastic and paper bags. According to a Mercury News article on the issue, the only large city that has implemented a ban like this is San Francisco, as most cities which have implemented bans have banned only the plastic bags. The effort in San Jose is being spearheaded by Vice Mayor Judy Chirco and Councilmembers Sam Liccardo, Kansen Chu, and Nora Campos.

According to a presentation given at the committee meeting, fifteen other Santa Clara County cities are considering banning bags because of encouragement from the County Board of Supervisors and environmental agencies.

The City of San José’s proposed ban also includes paper bags because of the environmental impact involved in manufacturing them. “Green” paper bags, with at least 50% recycled content, would be excluded from the ban.  Restaurants would also not be required to discontinue usage of plastic bags.

Not surprisingly, the plastic industry lobby has already been urging the Council not to be hasty in making their decision. Nevertheless, the matter is heading for vote and discussion by the Council as soon as November, thanks to a unanimous recommendation by the committee.

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