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[greenyes] SF charge for bags
Title: SF charge for bags
17 cents! That should have an impact!


San Francisco May Charge for Grocery Bags
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: January 24, 2005



SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco may become the first city in the nation to charge shoppers for grocery bags.

The city's Commission on the Environment is expected to ask the mayor and board of supervisors Tuesday to consider a 17-cent per bag charge on paper and plastic grocery bags. While the goal is reducing plastic bag pollution, paper was added so as not to discriminate.


``The whole point is to encourage the elimination of waste, not to make people pay more for groceries,'' said Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste.

Environmentalists argue that plastic bags jam machinery, pollute waterways and often end up in trees. In addition to large supermarkets, other outfits that regularly use plastic bags, including smaller grocery stores, dry cleaners and takeout restaurants, could eventually be targeted.

Officials calculate that the city spends 5.2 cents per bag annually for street litter pickup and 1.4 cents per bag for extra recycling costs.

Grocers and bag manufacturers argue that many people already reuse their plastic bags, and that the use of plastic won't go down because people will purchase plastic trash bags to use instead. Other opponents call the plan an unfair and regressive tax on shoppers.

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