Mar 19 - Smooth Transitions to Bag Bans In Santa Monica, San Jose


Months after implementation, the bag bans in two California cities are reporting few complaints and even immediate and positive results at one waste facility.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica adopted its bag ordinance over a year ago which became effective in March of 2011.

According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, City Environmental Analyst Josephine Miller has gotten good feedback from businesses and the general public.

No citations have been issued, although 76 verbal warnings were given out. Over two dozen complaints have been sent to the City regarding the ordinance, but the majority of the population seems to have adapted well.

Miller revealed to the Santa Monica Daily Press:

"Everyone’s telling me it’s a success. The goal was to protect the marine environment. In a city of 90,000 with 200,000 during the day, almost everyone is respecting the ban."

San Jose

Further north, San Jose, the largest CA city with a ban, began implementation of its ban this year.

According to the San Jose Inside, City staff is reporting success in just the first two months: 10 percent reduction in the pesky film plastics that cause expensive jams at materials recovery facilities (San Jose reportedly spent $1 million each year on repairs and lost revenue caused during its curbside bag recycling program), and very few complaints and violations considering its size.

There have been 27 formal complaints for non-compliant businesses (which the City of San Jose is working with for their cooperation), and about two dozen complaints from residents since last October.

Support other local bag bans being proposed and Take Action on our website. Find out more on our Campaign to End Single-Use Plastic Bags page.