An expansion of the plastic bag ban that has been enforced in San Francisco since 2009 went into effect on Monday.
The ban has been expanded to include all retailers and restaurants, which must charge at least 10 cents to customers who want a paper or reusable bag. Businesses get to keep the profits. There are some exemptions, including bags used for bulk items or loose produce, or to wrap meat or fish, and bags that contain prescription drugs.
Mission Local asked neighborhood residents: “What do you think about the newly expanded plastic bag ban and the 10-cent charge for paper bags?”
60 Seconds: Plastic Bag Ban Takes Effect from Mission Local on Vimeo.
Its a great proposal. The collective cost of using disposable bags is high (paper or plastic), and its worth having this small incentive to reuse. Sure, there will be people for whom the small fee will not change their actions, but there is a significant enough number of people who will change their behavior. I know I’ve already taken a second before leaving the house to bring a bag with me.
I think the only paper bags to be paid for should be fast food chains. These bags were the bags on the street, and plastic taqueria bags were the only bags I found cleaning Mission Street and it’s surrounding areas. Unfortunately, it is about educating more people about littering. That said, plastic bags extending to retail stores if fine, but grocery bags, no way.
I think related to this, chains and food purveyors–over a certain size or revenue–that offer take-out should pay a fee to the City to cover the street/sidewalk cleaning costs associated with their take-out wrapping/bagging, etc.–even though it’s usually the customer that’s littering (although trash bins get filled with this matter.)
Are restaurants and bakeries exempt from this until next year?