Justice has been served to a wildlife killer and polluter in California’s Bay Area.
San Jose has banned plastic bags with an ordinance that passed on Tuesday. San Jose, now the largest city in the U.S. with this enforcement, will bring the ban to effect on January 1, 2012. Retailers will no longer be able to offer plastic bags to consumers and will be obligated to charge 10 cents for paper bags.
About one million plastic bags end up in the Bay Area and harm birds, fish and other animals, and damage wetland habitats. “This is a great step,” said Councilman Sam Liccaro to a San Jose Mercury news reporter. “It’s an opportunity to lead on an important environmental issue.”
Retailers will still be allowed to supply plastic bags for produce, meat, or bulk foods. It also does not affect the sale of sandwich or trash bags.
The ban does not apply to restaurants and nonprofit secondhand stores like Salvation Army.
Similar measures have been approved in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Oakland, Malibu and Los Angeles County.