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.
The supervisors approved the proposal despite concerns from some small businesses that it could drive customers away.
"The intent was never to nickel or dime anybody," Mayor Ed Lee told the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/wFQznB) on Monday, expressing his support for the measure. "But if it takes 10 cents to remind somebody that their habits are in their control, I think that's something we're willing to consider doing."
But Tony Liu, who owns four Chinatown shops frequented by tourists, said the charge may be particularly off-putting given the state of the economy.
"Things are different now," he said.
City officials have been meeting with business owners to explain the proposal. Stores that violate the law would face fines of $100 for the first infraction, $200 for the second and $500 each time after that.
But Lee said at least initially, city officials would focus on educating store owners, not fining them.
The proposal, which would go into effect in October, is backed by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the California Grocers Association and the city's Small Business Commission. It would exempt the use of plastic bags for items such as loose nails, dry cleaning and bulk candy.
Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com
What they say about Steve Baxman
“I love Steve. He’s our local hero. I jokingly say he sleeps with his boots on. He’s always ready to come out and take care of people.”
Diane Barth, longtime Monte Rio resident
“He’s no stranger to controversy. I’ve defended him a number of times. (But) I tell people if you’re the one who goes over a cliff or find yourself in a perilous situation of any kind, he’s the face you want to see.”
Andy Pforsich, former Gold Ridge fire chief
“As good or bad or difficult as some of the calls might be, he finds a way to lighten the mood. He doesn’t take away from the seriousness, but he lessens the heartache of people involved, patients and responders.”
Sean Grinnell, Bodega Bay fire chief
“I think my brother has done a tremendous amount of good but he doesn’t do this alone. He has a wonderful supporting cast that never gets any credit.”
Deanna Baxman, retired Cal Fire division chief
“Sometimes you have to realize when politically you have to watch what you say. Steve doesn’t care.”
Dan George, Gold Ridge fire chief
“It’s very helpful when Steve shows up. He can keep a crazy situation calm. If we get a call at three in the morning chances are he’s there. I don’t think the guy sleeps.”
Dan Mori, Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy
“Some people love to hate him. But they call him, not 911. What does that tell you?”
Max Ming, Russian River fire chief
“He’s a true legend. I don’t know what he’s made of but he’s definitely made of something else.”
Efren Carrillo, Sonoma County supervisor
“He can never be replaced. He’s been doing it over 40 years now. No one can fill those shoes.”
Marshall Turbeville, Cal Fire battalion chief
“He’s a character. It leads people to not think he is the real deal. He is the real deal. He’s one of the legends of Sonoma County.”
Jack Piccinini, chief of Windsor and Rincon Valley fire districts
“He’s not talking out of the side of his mouth. You get what’s in front of you. I think he’s been a remarkable resource for the county.”
Ray Mulas, Schell‑Vista fire chief