The bill would have banned single-use plastic bags at grocery stores -- and, eventually, "convenience stores, foodmarts" and others. Stores would have been permitted to provide only reusable bags or paper bags, for a cost of not less than five cents per bag.
As SF Weekly wrote in a cover story last year, bag fees -- of the sort AB 1998 would have imposed, though weakly -- are the only measure that has ever really driven down the consumption of single-use bags.
Here in San Francisco, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi in August proposed widening the city's plastic bag ban to just about every store in the city, while imposing a five-cent fee on paper bags. If the end goal is actually to reduce plastic bag consumption and spur shoppers to bring their own bags, this move seems logical.
Mirkarimi was unsure whether the since-defeated bill would have allowed San Francisco to have stricter standards than the state. The demise of AB 1998 would appear to clear the way for the city to impose whatever form of ban it sees fit. A call to Mirkarimi this morning for clarification has not yet been returned.
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