Forged signatures sink effort to repeal San Jose EPS ban

Forged signatures sink effort to repeal San Jose EPS ban

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 9, 2014

All 38,784 signatures solicited for a petition to repeal an expanded polystyrene (EPS) container ban in San Jose, California were invalidated this week after city officials decided that more than half of them were either forged or ineligible.

After a review of signatures ostensibly gathered in support of the repeal efforts, city election officials threw out all 38,784 signatures after deeming more than 21,000 of them invalid. According to the San Jose Mercury News, about 15,000 signatures were forged, officials found, with an additional 6,000 either illegible, appearing more than once or linked to an invalid address.

A group of restaurant owners is believed to be behind the push to repeal the ban, which went into effect Jan. 1 for large chain restaurants and is slated to take hold at small businesses next year. Critics of the ban have expressed concern that using alternative containers will raise costs for businesses.

For months city officials had reportedly fielded numerous complaints from residents regarding tactics used by a group spearheading the "San Jose Residential Curbside Zero Waste Recycling Initiative." In addition to misleading city residents about their cause – insinuating that they were, in fact, in support of the ban – homeless men and women complained that they were given gift cards in exchange for their support, only to find that the gift cards had no money on them.

A total of 21,046 signatures are needed for an issue to get on San Jose's June ballot for a vote. Efforts to repeal the EPS measure now face an uphill battle after all 17,738 signatures appearing to be legitimate were invalidated alongside falsified signatures.

PRC14 Banner

To return to the Plastics Recycling Update newsletter, click here

 

.

.