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Petitioning Mayor of San Francisco Edwin Lee and 11 others

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and Board of Supervisors: To modify current plastic bag ban and bag fee

The plastic bags ban and bag fee has been in place since 10/1/2012. It has adversely affected our business community, especially retailers on discretionary shopping. It has turned off many frustrated shoppers. The foot traffic and sales are significantly lower than they were before. If businesses can't sustain, people will lose their jobs, which will adversely affect our local economy.

It has adversely affected our daily lives. Many of us use plastic bags as trash bags and for pet waste. We now will have to pay 10c to buy a much thicker multiple-use plactic bag or trash bags which are worse for the environment. Though the consumption of single-use plastic bags will likely reduces, the benefit will likely be offset by increase consumption of thicker plastic bags.

Since this law is not widely publicized, some shoppers / visitors are still not aware of it; hence defeating the purpose of conservation. Recently (2/2013) I witnessed a couple in their 60s double-bagged a 1-gallon bottled water at Walgreens. And the sales clerk did not tell them "it is 10c a bag."

Plastic bags can be produced efficiently, curiously making them more "environmentally friendly" than paper bags which came from trees, or cotton bags which are produced from a highly water intensive plant. The process of plastic bag production releases less greenhouse gases; the major cause of global warming, which is the most serious environmental threat. Additionally plastic bags can be recycled.

Read the article here by Washington Policy Center; titled "The Trendy Drive to Ban Plastic Grocery Bags, Does it Really Help the Environment":

Scientist and biologist from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and Greenpeace have corrected the claim about the ocean debris; it is not related to single-use plastic bags. The plastic came from milk jug, juice jug, water bottle, lid, tub, etc. And there is no scientific proof that fishes or marine lives were killed by ingestion of plastic. The only evidence available is that they were killed by entanglement in abandoned fishing nets or fishing lines.

Fresh plastic bags do not make good breeding ground for salmonella, e-coli, and other dangerous microbes; the cause of food contamination. This helps ensure public safety and health. Although washing the reusable bags might help, surveys have found that most of them are not washed.

Plastic bags don't pollute. Water bottles don't pollute. People pollute! We should cite the polluters instead of punishing the whole population of residents, business owners and plastic industry.

In light of all the benefits plastic bags offer and the adversities of the bag fee on our retailers, we petition to modify current S.F. plastic bags ban and bag fee to closely mirror current Assembly Bill 158 sponsored by Assembly Member Marc Levine, D-San Rafael.

AB 158 applied to grocery, convenient, and drug stores of 10,000 square foot or with gross sales of $2 million only. We further request to exempt mom-and-pop shops, so that we can get the bags for our trash and pet waste. It will not cover stores that sell other discretionary items since they are – discretionary. We do not want to discourage consumers; which in turn harms growth and hinders our tepid economic recovery.  It will also exempt restaurants on take-out orders. Plastic bags are cheap and clean which ensure food safety.

We must apply scientific facts appropriately. And find a good balance between growth and conservation. As such, we urge our city government to modify our law to closely mirror AB 158.


This petition was delivered to:
  • Mayor of San Francisco
    Edwin Lee
  • Supervisor Eric Mar
  • Supervisor David Campos
  • Supervisor John Avalos
  • Supervisor Jane Kim
  • Supervisor Mark Farrell
  • Supervisor Malia Cohen
  • Supervisor Carmen Chu
  • Supervisor Scott Weiner
  • Supervisor Norman Yee
  • Supervisor London Breed
  • President of San Francisco Board of Supervisors
    Supervisor David Chiu

Terry Chong started this petition with a single signature, and now has 20 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.

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