plastic_bags.jpgThe city’s war on plastic bags may enter soon enter phase two, if Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi has his way later this afternoon.

Mirkarimi, who fought for the original plastic bag ban in large grocery and drugstores, wants to extend that law to nix the controversial bags from almost every store in the city.

There are a few exceptions, though. The new law would leave loopholes for the rolls of plastic vegetable bags in your produce section, the plastic drape protecting your dry cleaning, and of course, the plastic sleeve protecting your newspaper from the morning dew. Hey, even Supes don’t like a soggy paper.

The original ban, which went into action three years ago, hasn’t been in vain if the numbers are correct. SF Gate reports that 100 million plastic bags a year have been spared since then.

Now, I’m not sure what 100 million plastic bags look like, but the 25 or so taking over my linen closet sure are a pain. Imagining that number times 40,000, I’m sure our fish friends in the Bay, who are said to bear the brunt of bag waste, appreciated the ban.

Small businesses are less excited, saying that paper bags cost them five times as much as plastic, and that increased cost is just passed down to the customer.

What’s your preferred method of moving your merch? Paper, plastic, or do you bring your own?

What it is now:

-Currently in San Francisco, large grocery and drug stores can only provide customers with three options for transporting goods: reusable bags, 100 percent recyclable paper bags, and compostable plastic bags (which are made from plant material like corn starch).

What it could be:

-Plastic bags would be banned from anywhere they are still used, EXCEPT: The thin bags used for meat and produce, the big multi-gallon bags bought to line garbage cans, the plastic sleeves on dry cleaning and newspaper.

– The state has a similar bill in the works right now, as well. The governor-supported law would ban all plastic bags from convenience stores and places that sell food. Customers would be charged 5 cents per paper bag, and giving them out for free would be illegal.

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  • Eve Batey

    I am a bring my own bag person! I feel like a total hippie, sometimes, and some stores even now act weird, like I’m trying to steal something. But not having those wads and wads of bags I tell myself I’ll use for something (my dog could live to 100 and not shit enough to use the bags I already have) is worth feeling all drum-circly.

  • Eve Batey

    I am a bring my own bag person! I feel like a total hippie, sometimes, and some stores even now act weird, like I’m trying to steal something. But not having those wads and wads of bags I tell myself I’ll use for something (my dog could live to 100 and not shit enough to use the bags I already have) is worth feeling all drum-circly.

  • Rogre’

    I hate plastic bag waste as much as anyone, BUT: anyone ever tried to grocery shopping and take two MUNI buses back home in the rainy season with paper grocery bags?

    Some people need plastic grocery bags for these lovely occasions, and some even save them to use again until they wear out. An absolute ban is simpy overkill for some of us!

  • Rogre’

    I hate plastic bag waste as much as anyone, BUT: anyone ever tried to grocery shopping and take two MUNI buses back home in the rainy season with paper grocery bags?

    Some people need plastic grocery bags for these lovely occasions, and some even save them to use again until they wear out. An absolute ban is simpy overkill for some of us!

  • Greg Dewar

    The plastic bag non-ban has always been about showboaty politics, and not about actually banning bags. SF’s leaders LOVE to brag about how we “banned bags” but it’s total bullshit – every single store along any neighborhood shopping district has plastic bags, and most do not offer paper as an option.

    http://www.gregdewar.com/2009/10/why_san_franciscos_phony_plast.html

  • Greg Dewar

    The plastic bag non-ban has always been about showboaty politics, and not about actually banning bags. SF’s leaders LOVE to brag about how we “banned bags” but it’s total bullshit – every single store along any neighborhood shopping district has plastic bags, and most do not offer paper as an option.

    http://www.gregdewar.com/2009/10/why_san_franciscos_phony_plast.html