San Francisco supervisors today unanimously approved a proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom to add a 20-cent per pack fee on cigarettes to help pay for the city’s cleanup of discarded butts.
The vote was included as part of a package of budget-related city fee increases.
The fee will be collected from retailers and will go specifically to city departments that conduct street cleanup of cigarette butts.
According to the mayor’s office, discarded cigarette butts account for a significant portion of the litter that has to be cleaned from sidewalks and gutters, and can leach toxins into the environment.
According to the Department of the Environment, the city expects to make about $6 million each year from the cigarette fee, the bulk of which will go to the Public Works and Recreation and Park departments.
The Board of Supervisors also today approved an ordinance cosponsored by Newsom and Supervisor Bevan Dufty that would require city departments to pay for the carbon footprints created from airline travel by city officials and department employees.
The Carbon Mitigation Program will require departments to offset that cost of carbon pollution by paying 13 percent of the airline ticket price.
The money is to be used for sustainable projects in the Bay Area that offset greenhouse gas emissions, according to the ordinance.