City of San Jose’s Plastic Bag Ban Takes Effect January 1st

The City of San Jose’s plastic bag ordinance was adopted over a year ago – on November 14, 2010 – and will go into effect this week!

From the City of San Jose’s Environmental Services website:

San José is the largest City in the state to ban plastic carryout bags.

Image of a reusable shopping bagThe ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2012, and:

  1. Grocery stores, pharmacies, small and large retailers will no longer be allowed to provide plastic carryout bags at checkout;
  2. Stores may still provide paper bags made of 40% post-consumer recycled material and charge a minimum of 10 cents for each bag. After the initial two years, the store charge will increase to a minimum of 25 cents for paper bags. The charge will be retained by the store;
  3. Customers purchasing food with WIC and CalFresh “food stamps” may be provided a recycled content paper bag at no cost for the first two years of the ban.

View full ordinance language

Resources for Retailers

Information to help businesses understand how the new ordinance affects them may be found on this website, including frequently asked questions and a customer factsheet that was developed after more than two years of stakeholder and community input.

Other plastic bag ordinances going into effect January 1, 2012: