No Price Increase for Paper Bags in San Jose as Ordinance Originally Required
San Jose’s plastic bag ban is working so well that the city’s environmental services department as well as city council members will not push the paper bag prices to 25 cents each on January 1st, as required in the ordinance when it was adopted.
Another ban begins on January 15th, this one for Styrofoam packaging from multi-state restaurants and fast food outlets. The ban takes effect for other restaurants and small food establishments January 1, 2015. The council hopes that prices on other types of packaging will fall by then, allowing less expensive options for the smaller businesses.
The reason for both the plastic bag ban and the Styrofoam ban is clearly the same. Too many plastic bags and non-degradable expanded polystyrene were filling up San Jose’s rivers and creeks and polluting roadways. There are 26 waterways in the Bay Area, among them are the Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek, which the State Water Resources Control Board previously declared harmed by trash.
According to a 2012 survey that compared that year’s data with information collected before the ordinance took place, the Environmental Services Department notes the plastic bag ban reduced plastic bag litter by 89% in storm drain systems. Additionally, plastic bag litter was reduced by 60% in creeks and rivers and by 59% in San Jose neighborhoods and streets.