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Getting Ready for the Plastic Bag Ban

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. 

On Jan. 1, 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 a recent press 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.

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JoAnne Spear December 06, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Well thank you very little to the government who thinks they can lead my life better than I can. I currently take care of my elderly parents and raise 3 teenagers. I go to the grocery store twice a month and the farmers market every week for fresh fruit and vegetables. I reuse my plastic bags for garbage and to clean up after my dog. Now thanks to this ban I will have to go shopping more often or buy like 30 -40 reusable bags that will have to be replaced due to wear and just plain hygeine. I will also have to buy plastic bags for garbage and picking up after my dog. So in total not one little bit of plastic will be saved, more gas will be burned to go to the store more often, and free time I don't have will be wasted, but I guess the government thinks it knows best.
Jennifer December 06, 2012 at 05:57 PM
You seem to be missing the point. There IS a big problem with plastic bags (that also don't degrade in our landfills even if you reuse them) being blown long distances. You will find them blown against bushes, fences, into streams and also in the floating trash piles found in our oceans. This probably has more to do with how light they are than someone purposefully tossing one away. Mona exdplained the issue with paper bags. We have to start somewhere to correct this problem. There are also biodegradeable "plastic" garbage bags being made. And, as Mona also stated, there still are the plastic bags for produce and meats that, when used, will keep your reusable bags clean for a very long time and can be used for dog poop.
JoAnne Spear December 06, 2012 at 06:12 PM
No actually I think you miss the point, the government should not be making decisions for the people. Everyone needs to be responsible for their own decisions and be ready to live with the consequences, whether they are good or bad. I have already tried to reduce my carbon footprint by only driving to the grocery store 2 times a month (less gas), reusing the plastic bags (saves plastic garbage bags and small disposable plastic bags for cleaning up after my dog), walking to the farmer's market (saves gas and supports local farmers). Yet the government thinks it knows best so all that is for naught. I am amazed how as children we can't wait to be out from under our parent's thumb and be an adult on our own, then we just let the government dictate everything we can and can't do.
Jennifer December 06, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I applaud you for all your efforts to conserve. I think it is the product that is the problem, not the use of it.
D Jardo December 07, 2012 at 07:30 PM
I use those plastic bags at home for garbage bags ... !!! No way Im paying for bags to put garbage in!!!

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