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Results of the Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance
The Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance began on January 1, 2012. The ordinance prohibits single-use carryout plastic bags provided at checkout by all retail businesses located or doing business in the City of San José. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, local retailers, national retailers, and mobile retailers. Stores may sell paper bags made of at least 40 percent post-consumer recycled content for a minimum of 10 cents for each bag.

Litter Reduction
  • 76 percent reduction in plastic bags found in creeks and rivers as of the end of the 2016 hotspot season
  • 69 percent reduction in plastic bags in storm drain inlets1

Consumer Behavior Changes
  • 48 percent of bags used by customers are reusable, up from 3.1 percent before the ban
  • More customers are opting to carry out items without a bag – 43.8 percent of customers are not using a bag to carry out items versus 12.9 percent pre-ban

Retailer Compliance
  • None of the San José businesses surveyed are providing single-use carry-out bags to their customers

1SCVURPPP (2016). Storm Drain Trash Monitoring and Characterization Project – Technical Report. Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program. In press.