In November 2007, San Francisco was the first city in the U.S. to implement a ban on plastic bags at all large supermarkets and pharmacies. Four years later, San Francisco is now on the brink of making that legislation even stronger by extending the ban to all retailers and including a 10 cent charge on paper bags. If it happens, San Francisco would join neighbors San Jose, Santa Clara County and Marin County in passing similar legislation.
As the Bag It Town coordinator, it’s been really fun to work on legislation in my home base! Last week I gave public comment on behalf of Bag It at the Board of Supervisors committee hearing which was the first step in getting the proposal to the Mayor’s desk. I’ve been coordinating with various Bag It partners (including our friends at the Surfrider Foundation, with whom we developed our Bag It Town Toolkit) to help build momentum for the legislation.
So, what makes this new ordinance so great and why is everyone at Bag It so excited about it? Here’s what’s cool—the new ordinance will ban non-biodegradable bags at ALL retailers in San Francisco, as well as charge consumers 10 cents for each paper bag they choose to purchase at the checkout. Based on the results we’ve seen from Ireland to DC, this charge will result in an 80-90% reduction in the overall distribution of single-use bags. Even better, the ordinance requires that paper bags have a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content, meaning fewer natural resources used to produce bags!
Stay tuned to the Bag It blog to find out what happens when the Board of Supervisors votes on Tuesday, Dec 6th! Want to help the cause? Take a minute to sign Surfrider’s action alert! http://action.surfrider.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5013
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