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Thread: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

  1. #1
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    (They're also banning smoking in many outdoor places.)


    SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- City officials are considering a proposal to slap a 17-cent surcharge on paper or plastic shopping bags, a debate sure to be watched as a bellwether for other communities.

    While no other U.S. city imposes a shopping bag tax, such a strategy has been successfully employed in the nations of Ireland, South Africa, Bangladesh, Australia and Taiwan.

    If approved by the city's Board of Supervisors, the fee would apply only to grocery stores that report more than $2 million in annual sales. Other stores could eventually be targeted.

    Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introduced a resolution Tuesday requesting a more detailed study on how much the city pays to collect and dispose of paper and plastic sacks.

    Such a study is required before the city can legally impose the fee, and the research will help determine the precise charge, Mirkarimi said. The study should be published by April 30.

    Environmentalists say plastic bags jam machinery, pollute waterways, suffocate wildlife and often end up as eyesores in trees or bushes. San Francisco shoppers bring home about 50 million bags each year, according to an environmental study.

    Grocers, bag manufacturers and trade groups say many people already reuse their plastic bags. Other opponents call the plan an unfair and regressive tax on shoppers.

    During a meeting Tuesday evening of San Francisco's Commission on the Environment, a stream of residents -- many toting canvas bags -- expressed their support for the tax proposal.

    "As consumers, we need to think outside the bag," said Jim Rhoads of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council, one of several residents who praised the commission.

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  3. #2
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    If they ban plastic grocery bags, what will I use for dog poop bags?


    Pay attention to the open sky

  4. #3
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    Oh, man. I was going to post this last night but I forgot about it.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-...24872650873160

  5. #4
    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    This is what happens when you let hippies congregate. I've been warning people for years.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
    -Ken Griffey Jr.

  6. #5
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    I think its a fine idea. I wonder, however, how many folks will just say "paper".
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  7. #6
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    We try to be judicious about shopping bags.

    Most times, I tell the clerk to not bag it. Probably 80-90% of the time, I don't really need a bag. If clerks would ask, I bet stores would decrease their usage by 50%.

    We switch back and forth between paper and plastic at the grocery store. Plastic gets used for above dog purposes and paper gets used to put newpapers in for recycling, cut up to put cookies on, cover school books, etc etc.

    If we get too many of either one of them, I put them in the recycling.

    Stores could do like Costco and put cardboard boxes out they don't want. That way, they don't have to pay to have them hauled away and customers have something to put items in.

    A while back, a local store (Biggs) didn't provide bags (or they charged for tehm, I don't recall). We did the canvas tote bag thing. Once you get used to it, its no big deal.

    One other thing Biggs does is charge a quarter for a shopping cart. You get the quarter back when you return the cart. Unlike most other grocery stores which have shopping carts all over their parking lot, 99% of the carts are put back at Biggs.

    My kids jump all over it when they see an abandoned cart to get their free quarter.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  8. #7
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    The grocery store chain Aldi already charges for bags... and you have to pay a deposit to use their carts. They do have low, low prices, though. If you're cheap like I am, it's easier to get your mind around the notion of paying for bags and carts. I wish Aldi would open a store here.

    BTW, once you've paid for those bags, you tend to be more thoughtful about what you do with them when you're done with them. I think that's SF's goal here.
    /r/reds

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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    Doesn't this tax disproportionately hit the lower income brackets?

    If you are DINK couple making a couple hundred grand, 17 cents a bag won't hurt you in the least. But if you are a single mother with 3 kids trying to make ends meet on fifteen grand a year, it will definitely hurt.

    So much for progressively taxing the 'rich'.

  10. #9
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    But if you are a single mother with 3 kids trying to make ends meet on fifteen grand a year, it will definitely hurt.
    If you're a mother with 3 kids and making 15K a year chances are you don't live in San Francisco County.

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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    I'm sure there is some section 8 approved housing in the county. The U.S. government has no problem paying market rate on the rent and landlords love 'em because their checks never bounce and they're always on time.

  12. #11
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    I'm sure there is probably some section 8 approved housing in the county.
    Perhaps in Hunters Point or deep in the Mission District... not too many supermarkets in those neighborhoods though.

  13. #12
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    If you're a mother with 3 kids and making 15K a year chances are you don't live in San Francisco County.
    Okay, two mothers of three kids.

    Makes all the routine posts.

  14. #13
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsland
    Okay, two mothers of three kids.

    Nah... that family unit would most likely be in Oakland, Berkeley or Rockridge.

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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    Rockridge?

    Have we now come full circle with the baby names thread?

    RANDOLPH SCOTT!

  16. #15
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: San Francisco considers fee on grocery bags

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192
    Rockridge?
    Rockridge is a neighborhood in-between Berekeley and Oakland, it probably is in Oakland but feels more Berkeley like in the shops and restaurants. It's a main location for the two mother families.


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