Plastic bags banned in San Jose,CA

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Plastic shopping bags

Plastic bags banned

Plastic bags banned in San Jose,CA

The authorities of San Jose, the third most populous city in California, have banned plastic bags.Ban was discussed at a meeting of city council, which took place the day before. As a result, a ban on the use of plastic bags was passed almost unanimously – 10 advisers supported the initiative.

(The San Francisco Chronicle)- San Jose on Tuesday adopted the strictest ban on plastic bags in California, putting the Silicon Valley city at the forefront of the widening debate over the environmental impacts of an item many people use and discard every day.

The City Council voted 10-1 to prohibit supermarkets, pharmacies, corner shops and others from distributing single-use plastic bags beginning Jan. 1, 2012 or face fines up to $1,000 after a third violation. Retailers can sell paper bags made of 40 percent recycled materials for 10 cents each, gradually increasing to 25 cents by 2014.

About 5,000 businesses will be affected by the change, according to the city’s studies. Restaurants, nonprofits and social service organizations are exempt from the rule. In addition, those receiving food stamps are not required to pay for the paper bags.

The regular meeting stretched well into the evening as council members heard public comment from dozens, including constituents supportive of the ban to business groups and small shop owners who opposed it.

“This ordinance is a great step forward and will keep millions of bags out of San Francisco Bay,” said Emily Utter, policy associate with Save the Bay. “We’re really excited that other cities – and California – will follow suit.”

Scores of cities around the country – including San Francisco and Washington – have moved to restrict the use of the ubiquitous plastic bags. Backed by growing numbers of environmental organizations, city officials argue the bags clog waterways, snarl waste processing machines and utilize untold volumes of fossil fuels, in both their ingredients and manufacture.

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