Possibility of Expanding the Ban on Plastic Bags in San Francisco

August 5th, 2010

Three years ago San Francisco banned the use of plastic bags at large supermarkets and chain drugstores, putting the city at the forefront of sustainability efforts.  Now San Francisco is considering taking this a step further and expanding the ban to all retailers, including department stores!

Current laws only allow large supermarkets and chain drugstores to distribute recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags and reusable bags.  The proposed new ban would eliminate all plastic at retail establishments, save for plastic bags that foods are distributed in, garment bags, and plastic bags sold in packages intended to hold garbage.

Since San Francisco enacted its ban of plastic bags three years ago, it is estimated that 100 million bags a year are removed from the waste stream.  This takes away significantly from the amount of plastic bags in landfills, storm drains, littering the streets and harming marine wildlife.  Expanding the law could remove tens of millions more bags.

At Sustainable Living Group, we’re excited about the possibility of this new law – it brings us a greener world.  Let’s hope other cities around the world follow San Francisco’s example!

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