A September 12th press release from officials in the city by the bay stated that Superior Court Judge Teri L. Jackson overruled arguments from plastic bag manufacturers and distributors. An association named “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition” sued the city in February to invalidate the law. Judge Jackson’s ruling to uphold the local ordinance enables the city to begin charging consumers a 10-cent charge on bags that are paper or compostable.
San Francisco’s Checkout Bag Ordinance was approved by the Board of Supervisors and signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee in February.
The battle over the legality of plastic bags began in 2007 with San Francisco’s first-in-the-nation prohibition on plastic checkout bags in supermarkets and retail pharmacies.
The San Francisco ordinance will now extend to all retailers, not just large supermarkets and “big box stores”. On July 1, 2013 this will include fast food restaurants, not so fast food restaurants, and any other store you might want some assistance carrying your items to your means of transportation.
Retailers will be required to charge consumers under the law.
A press release from the Office of the City Attorney stated, “I applaud Judge Jackson for her careful consideration of the issues, and for rejecting arguments by plastic bag manufacturers that clearly misapplied state law,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “San Franciscans deserve the same benefit other jurisdictions enjoy from an effective policy that has been shown to reduce the proliferation of single-use bags use by as much as 95 percent. This is good policy, on sound legal footing, and it will help move San Francisco toward its ambitious ‘zero waste’ goals.”
“The continued use of plastic bags pollutes the environment and has been a hurdle for the City in reaching its goal of zero waste,” said Melanie Nutter, Director of San Francisco Department of the Environment. “Today we celebrate the court’s decision supporting the City’s approach to expand the checkout bag ordinance. This is a huge step forward toward reducing plastic bag use as well as all single use bags.”