San Francisco, CA, United States (AHN) – Retailers in San Francisco will not be asking customers if they prefer paper or plastic when bagging goods. And, if customers don’t bring their own reusable bags, they will have to pay for one.
This week, San Francisco’s board of supervisors voted to make it illegal for any shop in the city to offer disposable plastic bags to customers.
The ordinance expands a 2007 bag ban that applied to large grocery stores and pharmacies. The new law also mandates that stores charge customers 10 cents a piece for paper bags.
The legislation is meant to reduce litter and waste processing costs. All retail outlets must stop distributing single-use plastic bags by October.
Industry figures show that some 90 percent of all grocery bags are plastic, and that just 1 to 3 percent of plastic bags are recycled. In addition, plastic bags are made of polyethylene, a petroleum-based product. Polyethylene production contributes to air pollution.
Retailers in San Francisco have mixed views on the regulation. Some are happy to stop using plastic bags, and some even plan to pass out reusable bags to help customers adapt to the change.