San Francisco To Ban Plastic Shopping Bags

Two years ago we reported on San Francisco's proposal to put a levy on plastic shopping bags. But now we learn they have leapfrogged that idea and gone for a full ban. As the San Francisco Chronicle saw it: "San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 this afternoon to make the city the first in the nation to prohibit petroleum-based plastic checkout bags in large markets and pharmacies." Biodegradable plastic and recyclable paper will be allowed under the legislation. Though we should point out that even biodegradable bags will not degrade significantly in most municipal landfills, where useful composting micro-organisms are decidedly thin on the ground. Six months is time given for large markets to get their shop in order, with large drugstore chains being offered a full year to comply. It looks like the supervisors acted after becoming frustrated with the California Grocers Association inability to voluntarily reign in the volume of bags they gave away, estimated at 180 million plastic bags last year. Via ::San Francisco Chronicle(Australian federal lawmakers, although able to ban incandescent bulbs at a moments notice, somehow lose their gumption for also banning the ubiquitous plastic bag, after years of prevaricating. Maybe San Fran's move can spur them on.)

Tags: Australia | California | Plastic Bags | Pollution | San Francisco