San Francisco May Expand Plastic Bag Ban

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Plastic Bag

(CBS)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) –Legislation in San Francisco to ban all retailers and restaurants from using plastic bags and mandating a charge for each recycled bag is moving forward, after the measure got a green light Monday by a Board of Supervisors’ committee.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who is sponsoring the legislation, is the one who spearheaded the city’s existing ban on one-use plastic bags at grocery and drug stores. Under the latest proposal, that ban also would expand to all retail stores.

In 2007 when the city banned plastic bags at supermarkets, groceries cried foul, but this time they’re on board with the proposal.

“You will be bringing yourselves in line with what I think is the cutting edge on this policy right now,” said Tim James of the California Grocers Association.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Grocery store owners said that they support this legislation because it levels the playing field by extending the ban to all retailers and restaurants. In addition, stores would be able to charge a 10 cent fee for paper bags, rising to 25 cents in 2014.

Those that don’t comply would be fined up to $500 for each infraction.

The legislation does allow for food takeout containers, dry cleaning bags and other exceptions.

Environmental groups, like Save the Bay, are also thrilled by the proposed expansion.

“San Francisco’s waterways in the bay do not distinguish between bags from large stores versus those from smaller stores or restaurants,” said a representative of Save the Bay.

The only naysayer was a group called “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition,” which threatened to file suit if this legislation becomes law.

The full board is expected to take up the issue next week. If approved, the new rules would take effect on July 1.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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