To ban plastic bags from large supermarkets in a bid to promote recycling, San Francisco becomes the first city in the US to vote on Tuesday. The city’s Board of Supervisors has approved a legislation that does not allow large supermarkets and drugstores offer plastic bags that are made from petroleum products starting in six months.
According to the city’s Department of the Environment, San Francisco annually uses 181 million plastic grocery bags! Though the plans to encourage recycling of the bags date back a decade, it has largely failed with shoppers returning just 1 percent of the bags, according to the department spokesman Mark Westland.
The ban eventually is supposed to save 450,000 gallons of oil a year! It would also relief the land fills of 1,400 tons of debris, now sent annually.
The new rules, however, would allow the use of ‘recyclable plastic bags’ not widely used these days.
Ross Mirkarimi, the city legislator championing the new law said,
Many (foreign) cities and nations have already implemented very similar legislation. It’s astounding that San Francisco would be the first U.S. city to follow suit.
I am hopeful that other U.S. cities will also adopt similar legislation. Why wait for the federal government to enact legislation that gets to the core of this problem when local governments can just step up to the plate?