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March 28, 2007

San Francisco to ban plastic grocery bags

StorybagsapReuters 03.28.07

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to become the first U.S. city to ban plastic bags from large supermarkets to help promote recycling. Under the legislation, beginning in six months large supermarkets and drugstores will not be allowed to offer plastic bags made from petroleum products. "Many [foreign] cities and nations have already implemented very similar legislation," said Ross Mirkarimi, the city legislator who championed the new law. "It's astounding that San Francisco would be the first U.S. city to follow suit."

"I am hopeful that other U.S. cities will also adopt similar legislation," he said. "Why wait for the federal government to enact legislation that gets to the core of this problem when local governments can just step up to the plate?" The city's Department of the Environment said San Francisco uses 181 million plastic grocery bags annually. Plans dating back a decade to encourage recycling of the bags have largely failed, with shoppers returning just one percent of bags, said department spokesman Mark Westland. Mirkarimi said the ban would save 450,000 gallons of oil a year and remove the need to send 1,400 tons of debris now sent annually to landfills. The new rules would, however, allow recyclable plastic bags, which are not widely used today. A spokesman for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who must approve or veto the legislation, called it sensible. "Chances are good that he is going to sign it," said Nathan Ballard.

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We've put together a helpful summary on the San Francisco Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance on this page:
http://www.reusablebags.com/action.php?id=11

Good for them, i wish every city would ban plastic bags, it would mean less garbage in the landfills, i use cloth bags and i don't see why everybody else cant do the same, great,great move on san francisco.

Good for them, i wish every city would ban plastic bags, it would mean less garbage in the landfills, i use cloth bags and i don't see why everybody else cant do the same, great,great move on san francisco.

Good for them, i wish every city would ban plastic bags, it would mean less garbage in the landfills, i use cloth bags and i don't see why everybody else cant do the same, great,great move on san francisco.

i would bow to the persons who have made an effort to make this unexpected effort a way to success.. sir, we are starting the same protest in a towncalled valsad in gujarat,india as an engo and would like you to give more feedback on how do we protest strongly... congratulations!!!!!!!!! all the beat

FABULOUS!! Way to go San Francisco! We need to same attitude and movement here in Florida. I am working on it!

it's a beautiful thing, a small step towards a higher goal. I'm working on a project here myself, in nyc and china.

This is great that san francisco is stepping up but i just hope the banning of plastic bags will not lead to the use of more paper overall i just hope people learn to use reusable bags!!! I'm showing my class here in MA the effects and have become amazed

There are better solutions than carrying bags in car. You don't need bags at all. See http://www.autocarts.net for a clever alternative to bags. This is the best solution to the problem.

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