San Jose, 10th Largest U.S. City, To Ban Single-Use Bags

San Jose City Hall. Used by Permission. Click picture for license.

On September 18, 2009, the City Council of San Jose, CA voted to prohibit the use of single-use plastic and paper bags within the city.  San Jose is the 10th largest city in the U. S. and is the largest U.S. City to ban single-use bags.  San Jose is in the region known as Silicon Valley.

The ban was recommended to the City Council by the Community and Economic Development Committee on August 24, 2009.  The Council vote on September 18, 2009 approved the recommendation.  With the approval of the recommendation, the staff was directed to return to Council with an ordinance to prohibit the use of single-use carryout plastic and paper bags.

Before the ordinance can be approved, the City must conduct an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) as required by CEQA.  CEQA is the California Environmental Quality Act.  CEQA has published a Process Flow Chart to help you to better understand an EIR.

The City of San Jose is in the process of completing the EIR.  An ordinance will be adopted once the EIR is submitted and approved.  The Council also continues to support legislation that would implement a state-wide program to significantly reduce use of single-use bags.  (See related article:  Plastic Bag Ban Bill Introduced in California State Assembly.)

San Jose is also getting help with the EIR from a coalition of cities and counties in California.  The coalition is called Green Cities California (GCC).  (See Press Release).