Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Plastic Bag Ban Fails in Senate

Posted By on Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 7:55 AM

click to enlarge A reprieve for the plastic bag - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • A reprieve for the plastic bag
In a move held at around the hour you'd expect our elected legislators to be watching The Tonight Show, the state senate voted down a bevy of high-profile bills, including one that would have banned the use of plastic grocery bags.

The staff of that bill's author, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, last night sent out numerous updates on the status of the plastic bag bill with a frequeny and urgency befitting the coverage of a Papal election. In the end, the ban was outvoted 21-14 in the senate. While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he'd have signed the plastic bag ban, the American Chemistry Council lobbied hard against it -- with success.

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.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF

and @SFWeekly

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"