Save Our Bags from the "Nanny State" politicians! 

Save Our Bags from the politicians and stop the Nanny State rules!


On January 1, 2012, the city of San Jose began implementation of Ordinance 28877 which prohibits retailers from supplying convenient, clean, and safe plastic bags to customers at the checkout stands. The law also sets minimum requirements and required charges for paper bags, which increases from 10 cents to 25 cents after two years. (They later changed this to keep it at 10 cents, claiming that 10 cents was enough pain to keep the number of paper bags purchased reasonable, but it was really done so as not to further anger people.)


As further detailed on this website, this law is senseless, based on false and exaggerated claims, and will do little to nothing to address the issues supposedly used to justify this ruling. This law controls the behavior of the people against their will. At the same time, it hurts businesses, inconveniences 1 million people, and greatly increases the health risk to the population.


We also know that this is just the beginning. The council is now considering other items for which they feel our use is unjustified. They will be the ones to decide what items we can use, when, and for what purposes they will be allowed. It will just depend on what crisis they are convinced must be solved next.


We are private citizens determined to resist, battle, and repeal this senseless bag ban. Please join us in this battle, and send a clear message from the people that we want this bag ban reversed and we want the politicians to stop behavior control and get back to important issues at hand!


There is a state-appointed board called the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Board that has set goals that cities must reduce their trash output to the bay by 40% by Jan 1, 2014, 70% by 2017, and 100% by 2022.
That sounds great, if it were truly a measurable item. But it is not, so they have made up "credit" percentages they give to a city if it does certain things. So they arbitrarily give a city 12% "credit" toward their goal if they BAN grocery bags. Yet there is NO evidence that plastic bag bans actually reduce any bag waste! So this is completely fictitious, and nothing but big bully arm twisting!!!
This is a shake-down and blackmail. They can make up anything, and pressure the cities to comply.
What a scam!
We wonder; If the cities put in a mechanical device (screen or filtering mechanism) as will be needed by 2020 to comply, then they will meet the 100% criteria, regardless of "credit." Will we then get our plastic grocery bags back? Of course not!



Here is what we believe:


  • This law oversteps the purposes of the city council and abuses their power over the people. This is "Nanny State" politics at its worst.

  • The people should have been allowed to vote to give up this right and privilege. We demand a vote of the people.

  • A very determined city council pushed through this law based on the loud cries of a minority over the complaints of the majority.

  • The people of San Jose have always had the option to use "reusable" bags over plastic bags. The city council did not like the choice the people were making, so they decided they must deny the people this choice.

  • This law is unique in that it does not ban an item or substance (plastic bags), but only a particular use of that item. It also sets a precedent by dictating a minimum charge that businesses must charge for an item when used in a particular manner. It sets the stage for unlimited power by a city council that seeks to control consumer behavior that does not fit their approval.

  • The arguments justifying this law were exaggerated, misstated, unsubstantiated, and grossly misrepresented. A particular application of a plastic bag was singled out and targeted unjustly and blamed for the abuse of all plastic, even plastic floating in the ocean thousands of miles away.

  • The law will do virtually nothing to stop pollution, reduce landfill, or slow global warming. No study has ever shown any improvements.

  • The law hurts businesses.

  • The law endangers citizens by wide-spread enforcement of "reusable bags" that are often filthy, unwashed, and carry bacteria.

  • The law has no accountability. If there is no change in litter and pollution levels, if businesses suffer, and if health and disease increase, the law is not readdressed. The law makes no promises of anything except inconvenience!

  • This law was passed just to make certain politicians look "green", a certain group of people to feel warm and fuzzy about themselves, and to make an example out of the people of San Jose.

  • The law costs the city of San Jose hundreds of thousands of dollars (San Jose allocated $650,000), citizens millions of dollars, and businesses potential millions in lost revenue and additional labor. This was done at one of the worst financial times in city history.

  • Plastic bags from checkout stands are typically about 1/8 of an ounce each. Even if every person used 10 bags per week (as claimed), that is only 1.25 ounces. This is insignificant in the total amount of waste used per person on a weekly basis.

  • Plastic bags must be used conservatively, reused whenever possible, and disposed of properly. Litter is wrong, and litterers should be targeted, not law abiding citizens.

  • This law should be resisted, challenged, and overturned by the people.