plastic_bags.jpgA proposal to expand San Francisco’s plastic bag ban and to institute a fee for each checkout bag stores in the city provide will return to the Board of Supervisors for a vote today.

In December, the board decided to wait two months to vote on the legislation, which would institute a 10-cent fee on all paper bags provided by supermarkets and chain store pharmacies.

The proposal, introduced by then-Supervisor and now Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, would also expand a law passed by supervisors in 2007 that banned those businesses from providing single-use, non-compostable plastic bags, extending it to all retail establishments this October, then restaurants in 2013.

The businesses charging the bag fee would keep the money to use how they see fit, and would be allowed certain exemptions, such as “doggy bags” used to take home leftover food from restaurants.

Supervisors were set to vote on the legislation at their Dec. 6 meeting but delayed the decision, citing concern about a lack of outreach to the small businesses that would be affected.

Mirkarimi, who was sworn in as sheriff on Jan. 8, said before the December meeting that the plan would decrease what he said was an estimated 350 million plastic bags San Franciscans use annually and spur a shift toward the use of reusable bags.

In the wake of Mirkarimi’s departure from the board, the legislation is now being sponsored by his replacement, Christina Olague, as well as Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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