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San Francisco plastic bag ban could extend to all city retailers

Shopper with an "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" shopping tote.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: The war on plastic bags started in San Francisco three years ago, when the city banned the bags from big supermarkets and chain drugstores. Now, San Francisco might expand the ban to all retailers. Here's reporter April Dembosky.


April Dembosky: The ban would mainly impact small business owners. But not all of them are against it. Dan Macchiarini owns a jewelry store and heads the North Beach Merchants' Association. It's a group of about 65 local businesses. He says giving up plastic wouldn't be a big burden in the long run.

Dan Macchiarini: Initially it would. Like I would have to get rid of some plastic bags here that I put jewelry or sculpture into and I would have to replace those, but I don't think it's a huge expense.

But the American Chemistry Council opposes the expansion of the ban. Shari Jackson is with the group's plastics division. She said she'd rather see the city focus on recycling programs.

Shari Jackson: We work with and encourage jurisdictions to take that approach. As opposed to the less consumer-friendly approach of bans and taxes.

California may get even more anti-plastic. The legislature is now considering the country's first statewide ban on plastic bags.

In San Francisco, I'm April Dembosky for Marketplace.

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