plastic_bags.jpgWhile there was briefly 100 percent compliance with the city’s first-of-its-kind plastic bag ban, some chain supermarkets have in recenter months been exploiting a loophole in the law in order to continue offering its shoppers plastic as well as paper.

Yes, it is still possible in San Francisco to bring home one’s groceries in a landfill-choking, high-polluting plastic bags, although those halcyon days will soon be over for good.

Some chains, like Lucky and Delano’s, offer bags of higher-grade plastic — thicker and stronger than the typical shopping bags seen in exotic locales like the Target in Daly City. They can legally do so in San Francisco by calling the higher-grade plastic reusable.

That’s it: thicker “reusable” plastic, and you’re good to go.

The bag ban’s author, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, on Tuesday called for an end to this “loophole” in the original bag ban’s language. Mirkarimi asked the Department of the Environment to strengthen the existing language in a way that would really, truly and for real this time prevent all supermarkets from using plastic bags.

Still exempt from the law: liquor stores, who will still happily wrap your six-pack in black plastic, lest the world at large be filled with envy over your tasteful choice of Mirror Pond IPA or other libation.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • codesmith

    Ah thank you! I’ve been wondering about this since the Delano’s near me has been using plastic bags. And they don’t offer an option – it’s just plastic. The reusable angle is ridiculous. Where do people think these bags go when the shopper gets home?

  • codesmith

    Ah thank you! I’ve been wondering about this since the Delano’s near me has been using plastic bags. And they don’t offer an option – it’s just plastic. The reusable angle is ridiculous. Where do people think these bags go when the shopper gets home?

  • Greg Dewar

    Maybe Ross Mirkarimi (who represents my neighborhood, the Inner Sunset) hasn’t been around lately or something, because I do a lot of shopping at local stores, and they ALL GIVE ME PLASTIC BAGS….I have a huge drawer full of the things thinking maybe I’ll find a use for them making a raft or something, and it’s only growing. I use reuseables but you can’t keep one in your back pocket just in case you might impulse buy a bag of avocados or beers….hence the plastic….If these things are indeed Satan’s Choice when Satan goes to the store, like, does that mean I’m going to Hell for getting a plastic bag at the market when it’s late and I need milk, beer and other health food items?

  • Greg Dewar

    Maybe Ross Mirkarimi (who represents my neighborhood, the Inner Sunset) hasn’t been around lately or something, because I do a lot of shopping at local stores, and they ALL GIVE ME PLASTIC BAGS….I have a huge drawer full of the things thinking maybe I’ll find a use for them making a raft or something, and it’s only growing. I use reuseables but you can’t keep one in your back pocket just in case you might impulse buy a bag of avocados or beers….hence the plastic….If these things are indeed Satan’s Choice when Satan goes to the store, like, does that mean I’m going to Hell for getting a plastic bag at the market when it’s late and I need milk, beer and other health food items?

  • Ken Holmes

    Ok…. so let me get this straight… thicker plastic bags that can have a longer life are bad because they are plastic. But “reusable bags” are ok because they look like canvas – but are really plastic and made in China and are non-recyclable. So the law has nothing to do with conserving resources, cutting pollution, or reducing waste.

    San Francisco is becoming more and more a city of morons.

    Lagest environmental concern on the planet today: Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuel. Plastic bags use less energy and resourses than paper, and create less pollution. So SF has concluded that paper, the more expensive, more polluting, larger hog of oil resources is the better environmental choice. Morons.

    Plastic bags are 100% recyclable, but the SF ban has all but eliminated bag recycling. Which is why plastic bag litter in SF went UP after the ban. Reusable nylon and polypropylene bags from China can’t be recycled. Paper recycling cereates about 80 times the water pollution as plastic recycling. So… the logical SF choice… ban the plastic. Way to go, morons.

    The word “Reusable” means you can use it more than once. ANY bag is reusable. But to the SF enviro elite, only one made of non-recyclable polypropylene or nylon counts. Even though those are mainly imported from China, where environmental controls are lax and human rights are spotty to say the least. I wonder how much oil use and pollution shipping stuff across the world causes.

    SF is backwards when it comes to the environment and your stupid bag laws are actually making things worse. Morons.

  • Ken Holmes

    Ok…. so let me get this straight… thicker plastic bags that can have a longer life are bad because they are plastic. But “reusable bags” are ok because they look like canvas – but are really plastic and made in China and are non-recyclable. So the law has nothing to do with conserving resources, cutting pollution, or reducing waste.

    San Francisco is becoming more and more a city of morons.

    Lagest environmental concern on the planet today: Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuel. Plastic bags use less energy and resourses than paper, and create less pollution. So SF has concluded that paper, the more expensive, more polluting, larger hog of oil resources is the better environmental choice. Morons.

    Plastic bags are 100% recyclable, but the SF ban has all but eliminated bag recycling. Which is why plastic bag litter in SF went UP after the ban. Reusable nylon and polypropylene bags from China can’t be recycled. Paper recycling cereates about 80 times the water pollution as plastic recycling. So… the logical SF choice… ban the plastic. Way to go, morons.

    The word “Reusable” means you can use it more than once. ANY bag is reusable. But to the SF enviro elite, only one made of non-recyclable polypropylene or nylon counts. Even though those are mainly imported from China, where environmental controls are lax and human rights are spotty to say the least. I wonder how much oil use and pollution shipping stuff across the world causes.

    SF is backwards when it comes to the environment and your stupid bag laws are actually making things worse. Morons.