Local mayors want the state to take the lead on plastic bag ban
The mayors of Los Gatos, Saratoga and Campbell all say they are not inclined to follow the city of San Jose by enacting a ban on single use plastic bags. The mayors discussed the issue at the March 28 West Valley Mayors and Managers meeting, which also includes Monte Sereno and Cupertino.
“We’d all prefer that the state do something as opposed to doing it on a piecemeal basis,” Los Gatos Mayor Steve Rice said. “It’s been proposed at the state level before.”
Rice went on to say that in Los Gatos, “we have a sustainability committee and it would fall under their purview. I don’t know if they’ve looked into it yet, but I’m sure it’s on their docket.”
Saratoga Mayor Chuck Page said simply, “I don’t want to do anything until the state makes a decision. We’re a small city and we don’t have oodles of time, money and people to work on it.” Page estimated it could cost Saratoga as much as $50,000 to enact a single use plastic bag ban.
“Campbell is going to look at the plastic bag ban issue, but unless we have all the cities together, it will be delayed,” Campbell Mayor Michael Kotowski said. He was emphatic, however, that any ban not penalize the end user. “Consumers get hit three times to pay for bags,” Kotowski Pandora Bracelet said. “The price of food is inflated to pay for the bags, [in San Jose] you pay again if you don’t bring your own bag, and you pay to have the bags picked up by West Valley Collection and Recycling.”
The three mayors agree that educating the public about the problems created by single use plastic bags could go a long way toward solving these problems. “I’m a runner, and I see more soft drink containers than anything else,” Kotowski said. “There’s a lot of debris out there plastic, paper, cardboard, trash in general. It’s bad performance by people.”
Page said, “People litter. It doesn’t happen because of the material. The issue needs a significant amount of education around it.”
There is apparently one thing that could cause the mayors to change their minds and enact plastic bag bans. It’s a requirement from the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board that municipalities reduce the amount of waste going into waterways by 40 percent by 2014 and by 100 percent by 2022. That’s why Cupertino is moving ahead, albeit slowly, on a single use plas Pandora Bracelet tic bag ban: It could give the city a Pandora Bracelet 12 percent credit toward that 40 percent threshold.
“That’s an issue that may force us to deal with the bag ban if the state doesn’t,” Rice acknowledged. He noted that the water quality board’s litter reduction requirement is scheduled t Pandora Bracelet o be discussed at the May 7 Los Gatos Town Council meeting.
The grassroots organization Save The Bay estimates that more than a million plastic bags pollute San Francisco Bay each year, with much of the litter coming from stream and creek tributaries.