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County-Wide Plastic Bag Ban Begins Tomorrow

Tips on how to prepare for the ban expected to be in effect in Alameda County starting January 1, 2013.

The plastic bag ban is upon the Tri-Cities and the rest of the County. 

Starting tomorrow, Alameda County will join San Francisco, San Mateo County, San Jose and 49 other California cities and counties in no longer providing single-use plastic bags at checkout — making reusable bags a must-have for any Bay Area resident, according to the latest release by the County.

All stores selling packaged food must charge a minimum of 10 cents for each paper bag.

The County's release goes on to share tips on how to incorporate reusable bags into your holidays this year: 

  • Save money and avoid the bag charge by bringing reusable bags while doing your holiday shopping. Get a head start on your New Year’s resolution!
  • Give friends and family reusable bags as gifts or stocking stuffers. Stylish, eco-friendly bags can be found at Etsy.com or for as little as $5 on Amazon.
  • Get in the DIY holiday spirit and craft your own reusable bag using only an old T-shirt and scissors (no sew). You can even personalize it with a favorite design or message for a loved one. See here for instructions.

For more information on Alameda County’s new ordinance, visit www.ReusableBagsAC.org.

Do you keep your reuseable bags in your car? How do you remember to bring them with you shopping? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Mona Taplin January 14, 2013 at 05:01 AM
I think that report is highly exaggerated to say the least. Safeway and Raleys in Newak were crowded Friday, and a friend said that safeway and Food Maxx were crowded in Fremont. Idoubt if people will travel out of the county for very darned long just because they have to get used to bringing there own bag to carry groceries home in. Other bags we can utilize for litter and garbage at home are empty potato bags, empty corn chip and potato chip bags, bread wrappers and the like. Those we used to just tossed can now take the place of those flimsy plastic bags.
Joseph Sze February 09, 2013 at 08:53 AM
If the report said 60% than I will believe that really exaggerated. On the other hand 6% is quite expected. Supermarkets chain such as Trader Joes has noted quite a bit more business in stores in cities surrounding San Jose in 2012 when the ban passed in San Jose. Though 6% can result in financial losses higher than the daily fine amount for non compliance. Those who still patronize stores in ban areas often buy less and shoplifting skyrockets as it is hard to tell whether an unbagged or in a non checkout provided bag item had actually been purchased. Alameda County is very unique that is has one integrated waste management authority over all 14 cities and unincorporated areas covering 739sq miles, making it difficult for residents other than the ones living near the border to drive elsewhere to shop. In most other counties such as Santa Clara Co, San Mateo Co, Marin Co and most importantly Los Angeles County which is in the survey the county only has authority to enforce a ban in its unincorporated areas. In Los Angeles Co much of 90% of the land is covered by its 88 incorporated cities which the county's ban doesn't apply to therefore unincorporated area residents can easily drive to a store within a city's limit where bags are not banned and shun the few unlucky retailers that happen to be located in an unincorporated area. Currently only five out of the 88 cities in LA county has a bag ban of some sort therefore most residents in socal are uneffected by this banwagon.
Edward February 09, 2013 at 11:06 PM
If you live equal distances from stores that do give out free bags and stores that don't, you may chose to go to those that do have Free Bags. Union City had a special Sales Tax, that, for those who could shop in Fremont, because it was on the way home or the same distance as union City retailers they decided to shop in Fremont and some Union City retailers decided to quit Business that were looking for and excuse to close up shop. People want value for our their hard earned money money and will change their shopping habits to find Value.
JCS February 11, 2013 at 06:37 AM
Campbell is also one of those rare cities that levys an additional city tax however many still flock to Campbell after San Jose banned the bag. I guess Campbell has been the most lucky to gain sales tax revenue from the fallout from San Jose's ban. I am surprised not a lot of chain retailers threatened to pull out of San Jose when the ban to effect. If they did San Jose would have thought twice and other cities might be less inclined to follow suit.

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