Update 3:50 p.m. The board has passed the legislation, adding an exception for oversize merchandise that doesn’t fit in a paper bag.

Earlier post
San Francisco shoppers may see plastic bags just about disappear from city stores, depending on a vote by the city’s Board of Supervisors today. San Francisco once had the most aggressive plastic bag ban in the country, but it’s been surpassed by other cities.

In 2007, San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban plastic bags from major grocery stores and pharmacies, like Safeway and Walgreens.

Today, 39 California cities limit plastic bag use, according to the advocacy group Californians Against Waste. That includes all of Alameda County, which enacted its plastic ban last month.

San Francisco supervisors will decide whether to extend the city’s 2007 ban to include not just grocery stores and pharmacies, but to all retail shops, and restaurants. Paper bags will cost ten cents.

Mayor Ed Lee supports the proposal.

San Jose enacted a similar policy last month.

Here’s the agenda item for today’s vote.


Amy Standen

Amy Standen (@amystanden) is a radio reporter for KQED Science, where she reports on mental health and the future of medicine, among other topics. Her stories are frequently heard on NPR. She is also host of KQED’s short video series, Deep Look. astanden@kqed.org. Her email is astanden@kqed.org and you can follow her on Twitter at @amystanden.

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