Frugal shoppers are going to think twice now about going back to their house when they forget their reusable shopping bags as the Board of Supervisors has initially voted to approve a new ordinance raising the price of a double paper bag to 50 cents.
Expanding on laws passed in 2007 and 2012, which first banned single-use plastic bags in the city and then levied a 10-cent fee to off-set retailers costs' for paper bags, the new fee will similarly be a pass-through surcharge that goes back to the stores themselves. Now, in addition to paying for paper bags used at checkout, the extra revenue will also offset the second requirement of the law, which is that stores will no longer be able to provide plastic bags for produce or bulk items — those bags will have to be compostable plastic or paper as well.
As KPIX explains, the new ordinance, once voted on a second time by the Supes and signed-off on by the mayor, would take effect next year, on July 1, 2020.
San Francisco was the first US city to ban single-use plastic bags in 2007, and since that time many other cities have followed our lead, especially in California — the state banned plastic bags statewide as of 2014. Also, in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, as well as in the cities of Los Altos, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Pacifica, there is already a 25-cent fee in place for paper bags.
"It is time for us as a city, as a leader on the environment, to step it up," says Supervisor Vallie Brown, speaking to KPIX.