Dec 30 - Ringing in 2012: More Bag Bans Expected in the New Year

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The new year is just around the corner, and several jurisdictions have been preparing for new or expanded plastic bag bans to go into effect on January 1, 2012:

City of San Jose

The City of San Jose adopted a plastic bag ban in January of 2011. Starting next year, plastic bags are banned from all retail stores within city limits. Recyclable single-use paper bags made from 40% post consumer content will be allowed for a price of 10 cents each until December 2013; starting in 2014 they can be distributed for 25 cents apiece. Read more in the Mercury News.

Marin County

Marin County also passed a bag ordinance in January of this year, banning single-use plastic bags and placing a minimum price requirement of 5 cents per paper bag. The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition (STPBC) sued the County on the grounds of insufficient CEQA documentation, but the County won the case in the Superior Court. CAW submitted a "friend of the court" amicus brief in support of the County. The STPBC recently filed an appeal and the case is expected to be heard further in the appellate court system in 2012.

Santa Clara County

The Santa Clara County passed a bag ban in April of 2011, effective in 2012. The ordinance bans plastic bags and allows single-use paper bags with a 15 cent minimum price requirement.

Expanded Bag Bans in LA County Areas

The Cities of Long Beach and Calabasas and unincorporated LA County have had effective single-use bag ordinances in place since last summer at large supermarkets. Paper bags are allowed for distribution with a 10 cent minimum price requirement. Starting in January of next year, the bans in these jurisdictions expand to convenience stores and other retailers selling a limited line of dry food goods. In Long Beach, this also includes farmer's markets. Read more in the LA Times.

In 2011, ten local bag bans were passed and adopted, more than doubling the amount of local ordinances to 16. For a list of all local single-use bag ordinances passed in California, click here. CAW is working to make 2012 an even more successful year for bag bans.

Happy new year from all of us at CAW.

Find out more about our Campaign to End Single-Use Plastic Bags, and TAKE ACTION in support of proposed ordinances.