One of two propositions on the November ballot could make plastic bags a thing of the past. The other appears to have less noble intentions.
With the collective force of 6,000 litter picker-uppers, San Jose was able to haul away the equivalent of 44 filled-to-the-brim semis of trash last year.
California looks poised to become the first state to pass a plastic bag ban. Senate Bill 270, which passed out of the Assembly on a 44-29 vote, would phase out single-use plastic bags starting in 2015. A vote on the issue failed earlier this week, but it’s now expected to move through the Senate.
That single-use plastic bag ban worked. The city enacted the 10-cent charge and San Jose’s shoppers adapted accordingly, bringing their own reusable bags instead of opting for single-use recycled paper bags, according to city staff. It’s a good thing, too, because that good behavior is pushing the city to consider canceling a fee increase that would have come into effect Jan. 1, upping the price-per-paper bag to 25 cents. Other items on Tuesday;‘s City Council agenda include a $5 million settlement with a Halloween partier who was shot 20 times by police and the potential pick up of two new fire engines.
After months of outreach trying to get restaurants used to the idea, the city’s moving ahead with its ban on Styrofoam-style take-out containers, a uniquely problematic type of litter because of the way expanded polystyrene (EPS) breaks apart and infiltrates the region’s waterways. On Tuesday, the City Council will discuss the controversial ban slated to go into effect Jan. 1. Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include a jobs development program with Work2Future and a service agreement with the San Jose Downtown Association.
San Jose’s Transportation and Environmental Committee approved a proposal Monday to have the City Council consider banning expanded polystyrene (EPS) takeout boxes in all restaurants. This is, more or less, the same proposal the city considered last year before turning down a $100,000 offer to study the issue more.
District 4 incumbent Kansen Chu has been a mostly ineffective member of the City Council. It’s time to give someone else a chance.
It seems some people at City Hall just don’t know how to accept a bribe anymore. All of last year, the city held public meetings about a potential ban on expanded polystyrene. It seemed like it would be no big thing, especially after passing a plastic bag ban. That is until December rolled around, and DART—a food-packaging company that manufactures EPS products—offered San Jose $100,000 to look at other ways to meet the city’s trash-reduction goals by 2014.
In the first two months of implementation, the city’s plastic bag ban yielded positive environmental results and few complaints, according to a memo sent out Friday by Kerrie Romanow, acting director of the Environmental Services Department. So far, the ESD has received 25 calls from the public expressing concerns or “an unfavorable comment” about the ordinance between October 2011 and February 2012, Romanow writes.
It is well known that the city of San Jose is on its way to banning single-use plastic bags starting in Jan 2011. An ordinance will come back to Council in 2010 for final adoption which will contain different options. The most problematic option I could see is a fee put on single-use bags.