San Jose’s Plastic Bag Ban Goes Into Effect

cotton reusable shopping bagEffective January 1st, 2012, San Jose’s plastic bag ban goes into affect for all retail stores throughout San Jose.  This plastic bag ban is the most comprehensive to date and includes all grocery stores and retail outlets.  Paper bags will cost .10 cents at check out.  Any retailer that does not comply with the new ordinance is subject to a $1000.00 fine.

San Jose shoppers will want to start stocking up on reusable grocery bags and keeping them in their car so they are available when they need them.  A lot of retailers are selling them at check out for $1.00 or less.

A Few Facts About Reusable Shopping Bags

There are quite a few reusable shopping bags available today, and most are made out of plastic, cotton, jute or bamboo.  It is becoming more popular for retailers to sell them at check out for $1.00 or less.  The investment up front may seem like a lot, but over time, the cost comes to pennies a day.

Recycled shopping bags made of plastic are not biodegradable, but will last for up to 2 years with regular washing and use.  When these bags have worn out, they can be recycled again and made into different products other than reusable shopping bags.  A reusable plastic shopping bag can carry at least twice as much as most standard plastic shopping bags and typically have long, soft, fabric handles that are easy on the hands and are easy to put over your shoulder.  These longer handles leave your hands free for other things such as holding your child’s hand as you walk through the busy parking lot.

Jute and Bamboo bags are 100% biodegradable and can last up to 4 years with regular washing and use.  The fibers on these bags are very strong, and can handle carrying heavier items, such as gallon milk containers or laundry detergent.  Jute, Bamboo and Cotton bags are all sustainable resources and bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on our planet.

Remember that although it seems as if single use plastic bags are free to customers, the cost of those bags is figured into the operating costs of the business supplying them and are passed along to consumers to pay for.  So although you are paying for either reusable shopping bags up front, or paying the fee for paper bags, it isn’t really costing you more.

Using reusable shopping bags is a small action for shoppers to take, and will make such a positive impact on our environment.  San Jose shoppers can feel good about the example they are about to set for the rest of us.



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