San Francisco Expands Proposed Ban on Plastic Bags

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Board of Supervisors here has expanded a proposed ban on plastic bags at supermarkets to include drug stores -- a proposal that will be considered by the legislative committee of the board later this month and, if approved, will go to the full board for consideration.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Board of Supervisors here has expanded a proposed ban on plastic bags at supermarkets to include drug stores -- a proposal that will be considered by the legislative committee of the board later this month and, if approved, will go to the full board for consideration. The original proposal would have required grocery stores that do more than $2 million in annual sales to offer bags made of recyclable paper, plastic that can be turned into compost, or sturdy cloth or plastic that can be re-used; it also included penalties for retailers who failed to comply. The amended proposal adds penalties for drug stores down to 5,000 square feet. The proposed ordinance came after a voluntary effort by supermarkets in the city to reduce plastic bag usage as an alternative to a 17-cent per bag tax -- an effort whose results have not been verified by independent observers, according to city officials. -- Elliot Zwiebach