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tiffany and co San Francisco retailers unprep

San Francisco retailers unprepared for plastic bag ban

Retailers, consider this your warning.

On Wednesday, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled that all retail shops in San Francisco will no longer be able to give away plastic bags starting Oct. 1. The ordinance is an extension of a 2007 law banning supermarkets and chain store phar tiffany and co macies from providing singl tiffany and co e use, non compostable plastic bags.

Retailers in at least 45 other cities and counties across the state have had to abide by similar laws for some time. And while it has been in place for large grocers, it seems the new rule is catching many of San Francisco’s retailers off guard.

“This law affects every single retailer in the city, big and small, and I have a feeling that the city has not properly announced what is going on,” said Adam Smith, owner of Fog City News. “I haven’t received any letter, memo, etc. from city hall You can’t order a new set of tiffany and co non plastic bags overnight!”

Last week, Smith said he was shocked to learn that he was the first retailer in the city to ask his cash register repairman about reconfiguring his machines in preparation for the ban.

But according to Friday Apaliski, outreach coordinator for the city’s Department of the Environment, the organization mailed letters to every retailer in the city i tiffany and co n June outlining the ordinance. The department also conducted a door to door outreach campaign that reached over 5,000 businesses.

In addition, store owners and managers were invited to several events where they could ask questions and meet manufactures that sell compliant bags. A little over 200 businesses attended.

tiffany and co San Francisco Plastic Bag Ban

San Francisco Plastic Bag Ban Would Also Charge Customers For Paper Bags VIDEO

The question “paper or plastic” is already more or less a moot point in San Francisco the 2007 passage of a partial ban on plastic bags in the city saw to that.

Now, if a new proposal by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi becomes law, it will be more like, “use your own bag or pay up.”

Mirkarimi, who is leaving the Board of Supervisors to replace Michael Hennessey as San Francisco’s next Sheriff, wants to expand the citywide ban on plastic shopping bags from solely covering large grocery and drug stores to include all retail stores and restaurants. The legislation would also place a ten cent charge on customers for each paper bag they used.

While Mirkarimi has been a long time advocate of marijuana legalization, it’s only now that he may finally make it legal for San Franciscans to pay for dime bags.

All fees collected from the bag charge will go back to the individual business to use as they see fit.

The goal of the measure is to nudge consumers toward bringing their own reusable shopping bags when going to the tiffany and co store. One year after the initial ban, a report by Cygnus Group President Robert Lilienfeld found that, instead of pushing consumers toward reusing canvas bags, the measure may have increased the environmental impact of each shopping trip by forcing tiffany and co customers to double bag with flimsy paper bags. The report went on to note that, “lifecycle studies indicate that paper bags use more energy, produce more waste, and generate more greenhouse gas emissions than do plastic bags.”

The businesses will get to keep the fee which is one reason the California Grocers Association and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce spoke in favor of the proposal at a City Hall hearing Monday. But an attorney representing the plastics industry has sued other cities and is threatening to do so now unless there’s a state environmental impact review.

Not everyone in San Francisco is in favor of the new restrictions. “Here we are in a recession, and everybody just feels like here is another unnecessary burden,” Steve Adams, president of the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, told the San Francisco Examiner

Four years ago, San Francisco became a global leader in fighting the scourge of plastic bags when it instituted its first in the nation ban. In the years since, over two dozen other municipalities, ranging from Maui, Hawaii, to Brownsville, Texas, have followed suit.

Two years after the partial San Francisco ban went into effect, plastic bag litter in the city decreased by 18 percent.

China, the world’s leading consumer of plastic bags, officially banned them in 2008 and, in the years since, has reduced its bag consumption by half, saving 1.6 million tons of oil in the process. This measure brought in $2 million to city coffers and, according to an informal study conducted by a local city council member, corresponded with an over 50 percent drop in plastic bag usage in grocery stores.

Seattle voters overturned a city council decision imposing a similar 20 cent fee on plastic bags in 2009, after plastics industry lobbying group the American Chemistry Council spent $1.4 million fighting to overturn the tax. In recent week, the council has recently taken up the cause a second time now proposing an outright ban.

Plastic shopping bags are typically made from polyethylene, which is produced when long chemical chains in processed natural gas or petroleum are combined together with pressure and heat.

There have been various efforts over the years to assess ho tiffany and co w much fuel is embedded in plastic bags, due to both the natural gas or petroleum feedstock and the energy of manufacture. The Australian government, in what some have viewed as one of the most comprehensive looks at the issue, concluded in 2002 that a year’s worth of weekly grocery trips, at 10 bags a trip, would result in embedded energy consumption of 210 megajoules the equivalent of 1.75 tiffany and co gallons (6.6 liters) of gasoline, and emissions of 13 pounds (6.06 kilograms) of CO2.