May 8 - San Jose Moves Closer to Banning Plastic Bags

A motion to draft an ordinance that will decrease plastic bag distribution and littering--possibly through a plastic bag ban and a fee on paper bags--passed a San Jose City Council Committee this week. Stephen Baxter of the San Jose Mercury News writes that after ten years of unsuccessfully trying to recycling plastic bags in their curbside programs, the City may be ready for a ban:

City environmental services officials said on May 5 that San Jose's trash contractors have struggled to clean used plastic bags and to find steady buyers for recycled bags since curbside plastic collection began 10 years ago. With a lack of buyers, they said that half of bags collected for recycling in the city end up in landfills, and the ones that are recycled often are chugged to Asian buyers by diesel ship.

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CAW and Plastic Bags:

  • CAW supports the San Jose ordinance and is sponsoring AB 2058 (Levine), which would require retailers to divert 70% of plastic bags by 2011 or be forced to charge a 25 cent fee on plastic.
  • More about Plastic Bags