San Francisco’s Small Business Commission and Panel recommended this week that the city increase their plastic bag tax to twenty-five cents, in order to discourage the use of disposable plastic in the business and retail community.
If approved the fee will take effect beginning in 2020. Currently, there are over twenty municipalities in California and neighboring states that charge twenty-five cents, or more, per plastic bag at grocery stores and other retail outlets.
The city council’s Land Use and Transportation Committees will be discussing the bill and presenting it at the next meeting in July. Most experts on San Francisco environmental policy say that the measure, while meeting some stiff opposition, will pass.
An informal poll of shoppers in the San Francisco area showed that when a ten cent fee was initiated on disposable bags, the number of customers who brought their own bags for shopping rose to around sixty percent. The city council was told by outside experts that in other major metropolitan areas that have a twenty-five cent bag fee over ninety-percent of shoppers bring their own bags.
If the new law passes, it will not affect those on Food Stamps, a council spokesperson said; those people will not be charged any bag fee.