San Jose locked up use of plastic bags

On December 15, The San Francisco Chronicle reports that San Jose, California’s third-most populous city, has banned the use of plastic bags..

The introduction of the ban was brought up for discussion at a meeting of the City Council held the day before. As a result, the ban on the use of plastic bags was approved by almost everyone — ten advisers spoke in favor of the introduction of this initiative, while only one opposed.

The ban will come into force on January 1 of next year. According to the approved decree, from the above date, the distribution of plastic bags in pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores and stalls will be prohibited. Instead of traditional plastic bags, sellers will have to pack the goods sold to buyers either in paper bags or in bags consisting of some other degradable material..

In the case of a three-time violation of the ban, a fine will be levied, the amount of which will be one thousand dollars. At the same time, it is noted that the ban on plastic bags will not be applied to municipal second-hand stores and restaurants. The San Jose authorities have established that about five thousand retail outlets will be forced to abandon the use of plastic bags..

According to the authors of this bill, the rejection of plastic bags should contribute to the improvement of the environmental situation in the city. For example, advocates of the reform argue that decomposition of plastic bags takes several hundred years, and their recycling is expensive and ineffective. In response to such arguments, opponents of the ban, among whom were also representatives of the chemical industry, pointed out that thanks to modern processing technologies, it becomes possible to easily recycle any package consisting of plastic.

It is worth noting that San Jose is the first city in the United States of America to impose such stringent restrictions on the use of plastic bags. So «The San Jose Mercury News» notes that similar bills were previously adopted in some large cities of California, Los Angeles and San Francisco, however, there the ban on the use of synthetic bags could not get so widespread.

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