San Jose, California, the 10th largest city in the United States, now has the toughest bag ban in America. On December 14, the City Council approved and adopted the ordinance.
As reported here, the Council decided to pursue a ban 14 months ago and directed staff to conduct an EIR and draft an ordinance to be presented to Council in the future. That day finally came.
The Single-Use Carry-Out Bag Ordinance prohibits the free distribution of not only plastic bags but also recycled paper bags. Furthermore, the Ordinance includes all retail establishments - not just supermarkets.
Set to take effect January 1, 2012, the Ordinance requires retailers to charge ten cents for a recycled paper bag through December 31st, 2013. After January 1, 2014, the retailer must charge twenty-five cents for a recycled paper bag.