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San Francisco expands plastic-bag ban

  • FILE -In this Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005 file photo, Markus Merlino loads the back of his car with bags of groceries outside a Safeway store in San Francisco. San Francisco appears set to expand its ban on plastic bags and impose a 10-cent charge on all bags handed out at stores. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider the proposal on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, a day after Mayor Ed Lee expressed his support for the plan. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO — Shoppers in San Francisco will have to pay 10 cents per bag and more retailers are now banned from handing out plastic bags under a proposal approved Tuesday by the city's Board of Supervisors.

San Francisco already bans large grocery stores and chain pharmacies from using plastic bags, which are blamed for clogging landfills and waterways. The proposal extends that ban to restaurants and to gift shops, hardware stores, boutiques and other retailers.

The 10-cent charge would apply to any type of bag, such as paper, that stores give customers at the checkout counter. The stores would keep the money.

The goal is to discourage the use of single-use bags and encourage people to bring their own bags to retailers.

San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban plastic bags at grocery stores and drug stores with an ordinance passed in 2007. Since then, other California cities, Ireland, Taiwan and the District of Columbia have enacted more stringent polices.

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