(KTSF by Jessie Liang)
San Francisco, CA- The Board of Supervisors today unanimously passed an expansion to an earlier ban on using plastic shopping bags. The new rule requires that all merchants must provide recyclable or reusable bags to a customer but will charge 10 cents per bag. Beginning July 1, 2014, the charge will increase to 25 cents per bag. The purpose of the new law is to encourage customers to bring their own shopping bags.
There are exceptions to the new law including packaged fruit, vegetables, frozen foods, small hardware, newspaper bags, laundry and dry cleaning bags.
Stephen Joseph, counsel with SaveThePlasticBag.com says the organization is going to file a lawsuit against the City’s new law adding, “There’s a state law that says the cities and counties can’t pass laws banning plastic bags or even paper bags at restaurants, so that makes this law invalid.”
At least one merchant welcomes the new ordinance and is willing to encourage customers to bring their own shopping bags. The new rule requires the checkout bag charge has to be separately stated on receipts by merchants.
Some residents say that they don’t mind the bag charge. One man says, “No problem. If I forgot to bring my own bag, they charge me and that is reasonable because it’s good for environment.” One woman says, “Plastic bags pollute environment. People should pay for it if they didn’t bring their own bags. I go for it. “And another says , “It’s very good. The new law encourages people are being environmentally friendly and also good for public health.”
At least one person KTSF spoke to was not happy with the new law saying paying for bags is not good as the economy is in a downturn. The new law goes into effect in October 1, 2012.
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