More good news! Santa Clara County joins the ban on single use takeout bags

Yesterday, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to enact a ban on single-use takeout bags.  With reasonable exceptions, it bans plastic bags, bans paper bags with less than 40% recycled content, and requires a 15 cent fee on paper bag use to encourage the use of reusable bags.  We thank Supervisors Shirakawa, Cortese, Kniss, and Yeager for their votes. Supervisor Yeager in particular has been supporting this issue for several years. President Cortese also rightly applauded the cooperation by the California Grocers Association on this matter, which I’ve seen personally at the city and county level.

You can watch the Supervisors here (Item 7).  A Mercury News report is here.  We have been following this issue for years in San Jose, Morgan Hill and elsewhere in addition to the County level, and are glad to see it succeed.  Below are CGF’s latest letter to the Supervisors and video testimony by CGF Advocate Julie Hutcheson.  Next up is to get the remaining cities in our area and elsewhere to move forward.


CGF letter:

Dear President Cortese and Board of Supervisors:

The Committee for Green Foothills proudly supports the staff recommendation to enact a ban on single use takeout bags (Item 7 on tomorrow’s agenda), noting that staff’s proposed ban includes certain exceptions such as the use of recycled-content paper bags sold at a small fee, exceptions for certain items and for the economically disadvantaged.

Similar actions have been taken by cities in Santa Clara County, most notably San Jose with approximately half of the County population.  Staff’s proposal would bring the vast majority of the geographic area of the County in rough conformity on takeout bags, and constitutes a significant step forward in protecting resources and in protecting our streams, protecting San Francisco and Monterey Bays, and the Pacific Ocean from this destructive and unnecessary pollution.

We are happy to answer any questions and urge you to pass the takeout bag ban ordinance per staff’s recommendation.

Brian Schmidt
Committee for Green Foothills

and video (speakers were only allowed one minute):

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