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Plastic Bags Banned In San Francisco

By pfcb2021     Mar 28, 2007 in Environment
San Francisco becomes the first U.S. city to outright ban plastic shopping and grocery bags.
By a 10 to 1 vote, the San Francisco city council has banned the use of plastic shopping bags in the city.
City leaders voted on the ban after many weeks lobbying on both sides from environmentalists and a supermarket trade group.
The new law will require stores to offer bags to customers made of recyclable paper or plastic that breaks down easily enough to be made into compost or reusable cloth.
The plastic bags have been the target of environmental groups claiming that they do irreparable damage to marine life.
The City and law supporters say banning the petroleum-based bags would, "go a long way toward helping the city earn its green stripes."
"Hopefully, other cities and states will follow suit," said Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who created the ban after failing to get a 15-cent per bag tax passed in 2005.
Grocery stores argued that the ban was not reasonable. They claim that plastic bags made of corn byproducts are a relatively new, expensive and untested product. Some said they might offer only paper bags at checkout.
"Grocers will now review all their options and decide what they think works best for them economically," said David Heylen, a spokesman for the California Grocers Association.
Craig Noble, spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said it would be unfortunate if grocers rejected the use of the biodegradable plastic bag. More trees would have to be cut down if paper bag use increases.
Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the ban.
More about San Francisco, Plastic bags, Law