Mayor supports fee, extended ban, on shopping bags 

Mayor Ed Lee expressed support on Monday for a proposed fee and extended ban on shopping bags in San Francisco.

Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will consider legislation that would expand the current ban on non-compostable plastic bags at grocery stores and pharmacies to all retail establishments in The City, plus require a 10-cent fee on all single-use bags, including paper.

Lee said he supports the measure “for all the environmental reasons,” but more outreach needs to be aimed at consumers, not just retailers. Lee said the 10-cent fee will serve to get people to “pay attention.”

Still, the mayor said he’s not a big fan of new fees for consumers, and he’s hoping for voluntary compliance.

“We’re not going to do heavy enforcement,” Lee said. “We’re going to do heavy education.”

The legislation, which was continued from a December hearing, was drafted last year by Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi when he was a supervisor. The proposal is an expansion of San Francisco’s landmark 2007 plastic bag ban and mirrors the terms of shopping bag policies cropping up in other California cities.

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