The Court of Appeals in California has recently upheld the city of San Francisco’s law banning the use of single-use and thin-film plastic bags in restaurants, grocery stores, delis, and retail shops doing business within the city limits.
The court’s upholding of the law now establishes a legal precedent that additional California cities may use as they attempt to create regulations that are modeled after the San Francisco one. San Francisco’s ban applies to all non-compostable plastic bags that a business would give to a customer upon checkout as well as imposing a ten-cent fee on other types of bags, such as paper or compostable plastic, that the business would provide to customers.
San Francisco first started its plastic bag ban back in 2007, which was directed at chain supermarkets and pharmacies. The law now applies to all retailers as well as retail food establishments. The law was opposed by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, based in Los Angeles, claiming that banning plastic bags violates health and sanitation standards. It is unknown if the group will appeal the decision to a higher court. However, as the public approval for limiting plastic bags use increases throughout the state, it has become easier for both small and large communities to enact regulations that limit and restrict the use of plastic bags that cannot be recycled.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Even if your town or municipality doesn’t have regulations about plastic bag use what are you doing to limit your use of plastics that cannot be recycled or re-used? As more and more customers look to support environmentally friendly businesses, you may find that you’ll make more “green” when you adopt green-friendly business practices!