Tuesday December 14, 2010. San Jose California.
Would you like a plastic bag? No way (San) Jose! Following the recent passing of plastic bags in Los Angles, the city of San Jose also passed an ordinance to ban plastic bags for all commercial businesses except restaurants and nonprofit charitable reuse organizations. The ban will begin January 1, 2012. Shoppers will be charged .10 to discourage using paper bags as a substitute. After two years the charge will increase to .25 cents.
Many environmental organizations such as Heal the Bay, Save the Bay, California Against Waste, Safeway supermarket, California Grocers Association, and Project GreenBag attended in support of the ban.
Manuel Martinez, Founder of Project GreenBag told San Jose city council members during the hearing:
"I am here to address a very serious problem in our community… plastic pollution, more specifically plastic bags.
All products and industries change over time, and we are now seeing a transition happen from plastic bags to reusable bags. As new and better products emerge, old ones are phased out. However, plastic bags are toxic and hazardous to the environment, and to us… this is not sustainable… and they need to be banned now.
This debate always leads to the topic of jobs. Reusable bags are a fast and growing sector and have the potential to bring revenue into California's economy.
Project GreenBag is a unique reusable bag maker because we make bags from 100% organic cotton and manufacture them here in California. This the sustainable alternative to plastic bags. Project GreenBag does not outsource any part of our production overseas. This means green every job we create is a California job. On behalf of Project GreenBag, I urge San Jose to vote yes and ban the plastic bag."
Watch the City of San Jose pass the plastic bag ban below:
Of course there were two opponents of the ban. View one opponents speech here: