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SF Supes Pass Enhanced Plastic Bag Ban

| February 7, 2012
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Update 3:50 p.m. The board has passed the legislation, adding an exception for oversize merchandise that doesn’t fit in a paper bag.

Earlier post
San Francisco shoppers may see plastic bags just about disappear from city stores, depending on a vote by the city’s Board of Supervisors today. San Francisco once had the most aggressive plastic bag ban in the country, but it’s been surpassed by other cities.

In 2007, San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban plastic bags from major grocery stores and pharmacies, like Safeway and Walgreens.

Today, 39 California cities limit plastic bag use, according to the advocacy group Californians Against Waste. That includes all of Alameda County, which enacted its plastic ban last month.

San Francisco supervisors will decide whether to extend the city’s 2007 ban to include not just grocery stores and pharmacies, but to all retail shops, and restaurants. Paper bags will cost ten cents.

Mayor Ed Lee supports the proposal.

San Jose enacted a similar policy last month.

Here’s the agenda item for today’s vote.

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About the Author ()

As a radio reporter for KQED Science, Amy's grappled with archaic maps, brain fitness exercises, albino redwood trees, and jet-lagged lab rats, as well as modeled a wide variety of hard hats and construction vests. Long before all that, she learned to cut actual tape interning for a Latin American news show at WBAI in New York, then took her first radio job as a producer for Pulse of the Planet. Since then, Amy has been an editor at Salon.com, the editor of Terrain Magazine, and has produced stories for NPR, Living on Earth, Philosophy Talk, and Pop Up Magazine. She's also a founding editor of Meatpaper Magazine. Reach Amy Standen at astanden@kqed.org.