New San Jose ordinance takes effect
January 1, 2012

By Laura Galvin, Shorenstein Realty Services

In December 2010, the City of San Jose adopted a Single-Use Carryout Bag ordinance that bans single use plastic carryout bags; the ordinance will begin on January 1, 2012 at which point consumers at all grocery and retail stores in San Jose will have the option to bring their own reusable bags or pay a minimum price for recycled-content paper bags. Consider the following to prepare for the ordinance:

  • A high-quality reusable bag has the potential to replace over 600 single-use plastic bags over its lifetime.
  • Plastic bags are one of the most common litter items found in creek cleanups.
  • Paper bags are just as problematic taking 14 million trees each year in the United States to produce a year's supply for retail use.
  • Shopping with reusable bags is a great way to take part in reducing litter and conserving natural resources.

To do your part, encourage your tenants to:

  • Start shopping with a reusable bag now.
  • Keep reusable bags by the door, in the car, or near car keys.
  • Keep foldable bags in pockets, backpacks, or a purse.
  • Give your friends and family a reusable bag, and encourage them to start shopping with them today.
  • Consider wrapping holiday gifts in reusable bags. They are available in a variety of colors and sizes.

For additional resources and updates, visit If you have questions, please e-mail or call (408) 534-BYOB(2962).


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