Action Alert – Support San Jose’s plastic bag ban

(The Action Alert below went out to our San Jose members. -Brian)

Dear Friend,

This Tuesday, September 22, San Jose‘s City Council will decide whether to have the best control of plastic bag litter and paper bag pollution of any major city. Seven of eleven voting City Council members have already supported a ban on plastic take-out bags and a requirement that paper bags be at least partially-recycled content. Please contact the City Council to help get us to the finish line on this groundbreaking proposal, and make it even better!

What’s Happening

A CountyCommission proposed a fee on both plastic and paper take-out bags to reduce pollution and fund cleanup of bag pollution. While fees have the advantage of giving customers a choice, they are controversial in some circles, so many local cities are considering bans on plastic bags with some limited exceptions. Because paper bags also have environmental liabilities, San Jose has proposed requiring they have at least 40%-50% recycled content. Other Santa ClaraCounty cities will soon be making their own decisions on these issues.

Why this is Important

Litter from plastic bags defaces our streets, lines our streams, and smothers both the San FranciscoBay and a significant part of the Pacific Ocean. Many local streams, including Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek, have so much trash that they have been listed or are considered for listing under the Clean Water Act as “impaired” waters due to trash. Paper bags are little better with even greater energy costs and the economic support they support for destructive logging projects like the recent San Jose Water Company proposal to log the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The proposal will increase education about reusable bags, the real solution to the bag problem.

While over a dozen local cities will make their own decisions about bags, San Jose has half of the County population and can solve half of the problem at one stroke. Its proposal is even better than San Francisco‘s because of the recycled paper requirement and could be a model for the country.

What you can do

Tell the City Council you support the plastic bag ban and recycled content for paper bags. Please also tell them you want them to consider either a fee on paper bags or higher recycled content now, or by reviewing the issue two years in the future.

Please email your support to the Mayor and City Council (just copy and paste the emails below):

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];

[email protected]; [email protected]

by this Tuesday, September 22 at 9:00 a.m. Attending the meeting to voice your support is even better, if you can go.

Please let us know that you have written or fax us a copy (650) 968-843

For more information, see the Committee for Green Foothills letter, Coyote Creek as the #2 Litter Hot Spot according to Save the Bay, and San Jose City Council Agenda Item 7.2.


– The Folks at Green Foothills


Committee for Green Foothills

Our mission is to protect the open space, farmlands, and natural resources of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties through advocacy, education, and grassroots action.

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