April 24, 2014

San Francisco Plastic Bag Ban Gets the Green Light from the Supreme Court

Last week the City of San Francisco won a long standing battle against the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition in the Supreme Court to move forward with their plastic bag ban.  

San Francisco led the way in 2007 with the first plastic bag ban in the country, eliminating plastic bags at large grocery stores.  However, they did not charge a fee for paper bags which led to an increase in paper bags and got the attention of the Save The Plastic Bag Coalition.  The coalition claims that paper bags "take more energy to produce than plastic, leading to an increase in greenhouse gases, and occupy more space in landfills." (sfgate.com).  With the increase in use of paper bags, they demanded a full environmental review.  "The city contended no such review was needed because the ordinance was environmentally benign, an argument that prevailed in court." (sfgate.com).

Since 2007, San Francisco added a $0.10 fee to paper bags and extended the ordinance to include all retail stores and restaurants as of October, 2013.  The fee on paper bags creates an incentive to bring your own bag which is much better than either paper or plastic.  

SOS commends the Supreme Court for this decision and we look forward to advocating for more plastic bag bans in California.  

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