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Milpitas Leaders To Talk Plastic Bag, Foam Bans

City Council will consider efforts on both.

Milpitas leaders tonight could decide how to move forward with a ban on plastic shopping bags and whether to further study banning foam to-go containers within city limits.

But that doesn’t mean either ban is a sure thing yet.

“These are not happening instantly,” said Kathleen Phalen, assistant city engineer. “These are just the steps that the city would take if the city would ban the bags. That has not been determined at this point.”

Instead, members of Milpitas City Council tonight will review the latest studies on banning plastic shopping bags and polystyrene foam to-go containers. Cities across the nation are banning both in an effort to reduce consumer waste and pollution and encourage reuse and recycling. Shops in San Jose, for example, don’t offer plastic shopping bags and sell paper bags for $.10 each after council members there passed new rules.

Milpitas leaders tonight will decide whether to do an environmental study on the potential bag ban and join a regional environmental study, led by San Mateo County, on a possible foam container ban.

Finally, city leaders will consider what a future plastic bag ban might look like. That potential ban then would go to staff to research and review before returning for an actual vote. If council members decide tonight what they want a future bag ban to look like, they could vote later this summer on whether to put that ban in place, Phalan said.

Milpitas City Council meets 7 p.m. today at Milpitas City Hall.

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