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San Francisco Mayor Supports Mandatory Charge On Paper Grocery Bags

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Reusable grocery bags at a Whole Foods Market. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Reusable grocery bags at a Whole Foods Market. (David McNew/Getty Images)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee supports a proposed mandatory charge on paper bags provided at store check-out counters and has called it a good way to “modify behavior.”

The controversial bag fee proposal will go before the Board of Supervisors for a vote next week.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

The proposed ordinance would impose a 10-cent a bag fee on paper shopping bags and ban plastic bags entirely.

Mayor Lee said he checked with his experts on the environmental impact and decided the charge is useful.

“Some level of charge has to go with behavioral change and it can’t just be voluntary,” Lee rationalized.

The mayor claimed he wasn’t nickel-and-diming shoppers because they have the option of bringing their own bags instead of buying them.

Mayor Lee did express some reservation about the proposal to increase the fee to 25 cents down the road as the legislation proposes.

He’s also worried about educating non-English speaking consumers so they aren’t caught off guard at the checkout counter.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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