Save Our Bags from the "Nanny State" politicians! 
   Home      Why We Oppose the Ban

Over-reaction to unsubstantiated problem.

Enacted for political and emotional reasons, not facts or reason.

Controlled and decided by a few, not voted on by majority.

Does not ban all plastics, just a particular application of plastic.

This law is not logically applied.

Started on a twisted concept.
Presents a public health hazard.

Hurts business

Interferes with what a business can offer free for consumers.

No accountability.



The entire basis of the arguments, the panic, the "crisis" that must be solved, and the need for a law taking away our rights and conveniences was flawed and overstated. This is nothing more than an emotional knee-jerk reaction to a problem that cannot be solved by banning people from receiving plastic bags at the checkout stand.

This law was enacted to make an example of San Jose residents as a political statement. There are multiple references to those pushing the law stating that they hope other cities will follow along. This was also done to make councilmembers feel warm and fuzzy, as if they are doing something bold and historic by taking away our conveniences and rights on unsubstantiated claims by a law that makes no sense. It is sick to think of people rejoicing over taking away our individual decision and convenience of plastic grocery bags just to make their political statement. Those who feel "green" want to force others to be "green", whether they agree or not, or even whether or not the law makes any sense or has any impact!

A minority of well funded, well organized, loud outspoken people, supported by a city council wanting to be politically correct, decided against the silent majority of San Jose citizens without a vote. In fact, the people of San Jose ALREADY vote on this issue every time they go to the store. They ALREADY had the option to use reusable bags or get free plastic bags at the store and they chose plastic! 
This ruling is basically stating that the people are not smart enough to choose correctly. Or,  people are not choosing the outcome that the environmentalists (and city councilmembers) want, so therefore the people will be muzzled.

How do we have a law that says we can use plastic bags for any application except one; our convenience at a grocery store? Plastic bags are not illegal, only a way in which we use them. Basically, the law is stating that our convenience is unworthy of the (supposed) environmental cost. You can buy a box of plastic bags and use them for anything you want at home, throw them away as often as you like, but you cannot receive one at the checkout stand when you need it the most? The rulers on high have decreed that we shall be denied the convenience of a perfectly legal item (plastic bags) for our groceries. Tell us, O Mighty Wise Ones, what other convenience of ours are unworthy?
The plastic bag ban applies to only one application of a plastic bag, by only a certain group. Restaurants and some other retailers (such as a small group of non-profits) can still use plastic bags. 
In a blaring example of both inconsistency and hypocrisy, the Mercury News (big supporters of this "bold" plastic bag ban...) still delivers hundreds of thousand newspapers every year in EVIL PLASTIC BAGS just feet from the storm drains. How many hundreds of thousands of plastic bags does the Mercury News use each year, and throw on the ground? Why can't their carriers be inconvenienced enough to deliver the papers to our doorstep? And these plastic bags are among the worst offenders. They are seldom if ever reused, are shredded when hitting the pavement (plastic fragments), and used only for the convenience of a few newspaper delivery people.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that councilmember Chu went to Taiwan, and when he went to a store and wanted to bag his groceries, he was told he must pay for the plastic bags. He thought "gee, this is a great idea, and I should bring this idea back to San Jose."
What kind of twisted thinking is it for someone to go to a foreign country, be inconvenienced by something that is free in the United States, and think it is a good idea? Only a politician!
For those of us who have lived in foreign countries, we know that some of the great things about the United States are the freedom and conveniences we enjoy, coupled with personal decisions and responsibilities. We DO NOT want to turn this into a state where government makes all our decisions, we are told what we can buy, where we can shop, what we can drive, and how we are allowed to bag our groceries. If you want that, then go live in one of those countries.
In fact, the people of Taiwan now have MORE freedom than us in San Jose! At least they have the option of purchasing a plastic bag, while we do not!
Reused and recycled  bags are dangerous. Reports show an alarming amount of bacteria in these bags. Who monitors how often people wash their bags? What are the rules for recycled bags? Why do I want the cashier/bagger to use someone's filthy dirty used bag, then handle my groceries? And how does the city council expect the common peasant, who was too stupid to choose reusable over plastic in the first place, to be responsible enough to wash his reusable bags on a regular basis? Especially when they hate using the reusable bags in the first place and are being forced against their will?
Businesses opposed this legislation. These are the same businesses who pay for the bags at their own cost. Why would businesses oppose saving money? Because they know that the convenience helps bring customers in. They don't want customers driving by their store because they forgot to put their recyclable bags back in their trunk. Or going to another city to buy groceries because they want the plastic bags. See our entire page discussing the impact on businesses.
Now the city council wants to define what a business can offer a customer for free. If a business wants to give out free cookies, maybe they can't because the council decides they are too fattening. No free balloons because they can float away and hurt the environment. And everyone knows the next thing to be banned will be toys with Happy Meals. The council is now deciding what completely legal items can be given for free.
Notice that there is no accountability for this bill. If they count the number of plastic bags in the creeks and rivers after 2 years (as they did in San Francisco) and found no change, then will the law be repealed? Of course not! If they find a decrease in San Jose grocery business, and an increase in neighboring cities, will they consider reversing the ban? Of course not! If the mysterious "great Pacific garbage patch" turns out to be a hoax (as it has), will they reverse the ban? Of course not! This bill makes no promises except to inconvenience people.