Wonky Wednesday: Santa Clara County Says “so long” to Plastic Bags
Some trends just didn’t stand the test of time – Pogs, slap bracelets, pagers, Furby, and pet rocks, for example (although I did inherit my mother’s pet rock from the 60s). But there is one trend catching on throughout the Bay Area that we are particularly excited about – banning plastic bags.
Yesterday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to ban plastic bags in the unincorporated areas of the county. The 60 or so stores in the unincorporated county will no longer be allowed to give customers plastic bags at the check out stand. If customers want a paper bag, they will have to pay 15 cents. The goal of this policy is to encourage people to bring their own bags when they shop. As more people develop this habit, fewer plastic bags will end up littering our creeks and the Bay.
Santa Clara County is now joining the elite – and growing – group of Bay Area jurisdictions that are getting rid of these wasteful and polluting products. Marin County voted in January to ban plastic bags; San Jose approved their bag ordinance last December; San Francisco, Fairfax, and Palo Alto have had bans in place for a couple years.
Santa Clara County is once again showing itself to be an environmental leader in the Bay. We look forward to seeing cities within the county take the same initiative, and make plastic bag bans a lasting trend.
– Allison Chan