Friday, March 09, 2007

San Francisco may ban plastic grocery bags

In this morning's South Bend Tribune, on p.A5, there is a small article on this.
You can also read the article at this link, although it's more brief than the Tribune article:,1,6836392.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

The story says that "the measure would require grocery stores that do more than $2 million in sales a year to offer customers bags made of recyclable paper, plastic that can be turned into compost or study cloth or plastic that can be reused. If approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors next week, the measure would take effect in six months."

This is exciting news!


Michelle Verges, Project Director said...


This is very exciting news! I went online and found more details about San Francisco's efforts to ban plastic bags. As reported by the Associated Press in the SF news (, legislative action has been postponed on this effort to ban plastic bags.

Apparently, the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee (CONSC) want this ban to apply to more stores, not just the stores that gross $2 million per year. CONSC will meet on March 22nd to discuss this amendment.

On a related note, IKEA announced that they are going to charge customers .05-cents for each plastic bag customers use at check-out. IKEA is the first retailer in the US to implement this policy.

Internationally speaking, this isn't the first time a company has imposed such a tax on consumers. Shoppers in South Africa, Ireland, and Taiwan already pay a tax for using plastic bags. Alternatively, some of these countries also impose fees on companies that still distribute 'free' plastic bags to shoppers.

In addition, Paris, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Australia, and 30 Alaskan villages have either banned plastic bags altogether or will be banning them in the next year or so.

Looks like folks are waking up to this issue. Now's a great time to conserve plastic bags!

:0) M

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had no idea there was movement going on in other countries to ban plastic bags. And thanks for the info on IKEA. I'm actually headed there tomorrow so I'll be sure to bring my own bags.

JENNIFER said...

WOW that link said 17 cents on the bag tax. that is a lot. And yes I do believe in what you found. They should target more retails then those that make the most gross. All stores in teh city that use plastic should be banned. This article will help when I want to go to my city to ban plastic. Thanks, Jennifer

Anonymous said...

I just read the article about BagFest in this morning's South Bend Tribune (Sunday, 11 March)! I am fired up! I can't wait to bring my bags of bags to donate -- WalMart is too far away for me. Keep up the good work and education -- I liked the bag recycling link, too. I'll check back to your blog often. One question: Does Mishawaka's curbside recycling take plastic bags? Thanks!

Michelle Verges, Project Director said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your enthusiastic support! I certainly hope to meet you personally at BagFest. :0)

I'd like to answer your question about plastic-bag recycling in Mishawaka. To date, there are no facilities in the state of Indiana that provide plastic-bag recycling. So that means that all of our plastic bags get thrown away into the landfills, even if you place your plastic bags with curbside recycling.

Can this change? Absolutely.

But first, people need to know this is a community issue. And then people need to believe that they can make a difference. What we do matters. When people start believing that for themselves, I think we'll start seeing some amazing changes in our community.

:0) M