Cheer up, San Franciscans; all of the cities problems have been solved! Yesterday, Gavin Newsom announced that he had made a deal with major supermarket chains to cut down on those plastic grocery bags. Needless to say, there was much rejoicing.
The deal says that over the next year, the supermarkets will cut down plastic bag use by ten million. Of course, there's no real explanation of how they'll cut down on them. Especially because as all of us who use those plastic bags know, you need two of them to make sure the bag doesn't rip and your groceries don't wind up all over Valencia Street (there's nothing really quite like picking up expensive gourmet food items right in front of homeless people). Nevertheless, the Department of the Environment will monitor the amount of bags being handed out and the stores promise to look into recycling efforts and selling re-usable bags. They will also give money to a citywide campaign to educate us all on the dangers of plastic bags.
The deal was negotiated after the San Francisco Commission on the Environment came up with the idea of adding a .17 cent tax to every bag as a way of encouraging people not to use the bags and to defray the costs of cleaning them up. The idea didn't go over very well, but it did manage to scare everyone into cooking up this deal.
Everyone was all happy and excited about this yesterday, except for Ross Mirkirarimi. He attended Gavin's press conference (he showed up late, we might add, which might be a dig at the Mayor’s well-known habit of being fashionably late for everything) but criticized the deal as a "fine half-step" and called the efforts of the supermarkets to fight the proposed tax "troublesome."