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1 Golden Gate U. Envtl. L.J. 439 (2007)
The Evolution of San Francisco's Plastic-Bag Ban

handle is hein.journals/gguelr1 and id is 445 raw text is: COMMENT
The lady who sells me my lunchtime sandwich and packet of crisps
at Sainsbury's and I are helping save the world. She asks if I want a
plastic bag for that. And I say no.''
The ubiquity of single-use plastic bags has led to a collective
dependency on their free availability that, until recently, has allowed the
significant environmental costs incurred in the bags' production and
disposal to go unchallenged. In March 2007, the San Francisco2 Board of
Supervisors approved an ordinance largely banning local retailers from
providing plastic bags to customers, triggering a deluge of similar
ordinances across the nation. San Francisco's approach evolved from a
user tax-based plan that was eventually preempted by state law, to an
outright ban on large retailers3 that appears to be capable of withstanding
legal challenge.
Every year, 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used
worldwide,4 including an estimated 180 million bags in San Francisco
alone.' At a time when progressive environmental initiatives are
I I Don't Need That Bag, Thanks, S. WALES EVENING POST, Oct. 27, 2007, at 15, available
at2007 WLNR 21226275.
2 All references to San Francisco throughout this comment refer to the City and County of
San Francisco.
3 S.F. ENV'T CODE §§ 1701-1709 (2007), available at
4 A.B. 2449 § 1(a)(2), 2005-2006 Gen. Assem., Reg. Sess. (Cal. 2006).
5 Wyatt Buchanan 'Paper or... Canvas? Plastic Bags Are Out, S.F. CHRON., Nov. 19,
2007, at DI, available at2007 WLNR 22868623.

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