Paper for Plastic (And Paper)

[Thanks to metblog reader FS for the heads-up on the following story]

So under the heading “Strange News,” is this tidbit: SF’s Commission on the Environment is expected to ask the supes to consider a 17 cent per bag charge for grocery bags.

Seriously? Dudes, come on now.

I’m all for cleaner streets – that’s the Commission’s argument – but, I don’t know – that deposit we pay for bottles and cans is one thing, this just seems goofy.

3 Comments so far

  1. Kristine (unregistered) on January 25th, 2005 @ 11:21 am

    I saw that on the news, and the guy claims that shoppers are already paying that. It would be taken out of what you pay for food, and then just payed upfront for however many bags you need. The point(from what I gathered) was to reduce bag usage(double bagging, etc) and to promote bringing your own ‘sack’ to carry your groceries home in. They’re thinking that by charging consumers up front (of course, the answer(bribe?) is always in money), that people would pay attention to their ‘bag waste’ and cut down. We’ll see what happens..


  2. cd (unregistered) on January 25th, 2005 @ 11:35 am

    I’d assume that, yeah, the costs of the bags are currently factored into the overall operations overhead of a market. This is more of a penalty fee, however, than just passing the costs on to the consumer. Stores only get part of the bag fees, and I doubt they’ll change their pricing practices in any appreicable manner.

    In this city, of all places, double bagging or paper-in-plastic bagging is hardly just excess – it’s a practical necessity when you’re carting your crap home on MUNI and need to economize space and maximize bag strength.

    I think this a very punitive measure that won’t alter people’s behaviors.


  3. abraxis (unregistered) on July 24th, 2005 @ 10:01 pm

    Ummmm, this is simply a new revenue stream for the left-wing Bored of Stupidvisors.

    To say that they need a new tax because overpaid DPW “workers” kanna stoop down to pick up a bag is the ultimate in arrogance. And to slap the tax on paper bags as well because they dun want to be “discriminatory” is absurd.

    A tax is a tax. It’s not a “fee”. A fee pays for something. Food prices will not be lowered to compensate. They will be raised. The grocers won’t get a cut of this tax. It will be passed on and will become an additional burden for already strapped consumers.

    All the plastic bags in my house in the Richmond District get reused as trash bags. The paper bags are used for recycling. That’s called reuse!

    Many people are the same way here lah. And many of these same people will simply drive to Westlake or points south if this passes.

    It will alter San Franciscians’ behaviour alright. It will hurt local business who won’t pay as much tax. The left-wing BOS will see that there’s less money coming in for their special interests. So they will create new taxes.

    They could create a marijuana tax and a bicycle tax; it would raise revenue but may offend some special interests…



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