San Francisco Bag Ban Gets Go-Ahead from Judge

Last week, California Superior Court Judge Teri Jackson upheld the ordinance San Francisco recently passed which banned most retail locations in the city from distributing plastic bags. The ruling was the final outcome of a lawsuit filed by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, which insisted that the environmental impact of the bag ban was not properly assessed before the ordinance was passed. Writes Aaron Sankin of the Huffington Post,

The ordinance expands a 2007 law, the first of its kind in the nation, that banned non-compostable plastic bags at large supermarkets and pharmacies. When the new prohibition goes into effect on October 1, it will extend to all retail stores and finally to all restaurants in the city starting next summer.

In an effort to encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags whenever they go shopping, the law also imposes a small fee for the use of paper bags. The money generated from these fees won't flow into city coffers; instead, it will be kept by the individual stores.

Any store caught flouting the ban will be fined up to $500 for each violation.

The Coalition plans to take the case to the Appeals Court, where they feel they will be successful in changing the ruling. For now, San Francisco's future seems to be taking the direction many small towns have already taken. Along with India's Delhi, San Francisco is one of the largest municipalities to ban the plastic bag thus far. For more information on the bag ban and the people who are fighting it, please see the full article on the Huffington Post here.

Image: Plastic bag art installation in Newcastle, UK via Topsy@Waygood on Flickr.

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