February 15, 2012 15:22 by Bran
Five years ago, San Francisco became the first city in America to execute a ban on one-time use plastic bags throughout supermarkets and drug stores. Yesterday, the ordinance was expanded to include a variety of other shops and venues, including tool stores, souvenir shops, and even restaurants.
The newly extended rule will also force shoppers who ask for paper bags to pay for them at a rate of 10 cents each. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), these changes present "an opportunity for Bay Area distributors to tout reusable totes and other eco-friendly ideas."
San Francisco's plastic bag ban has been broadened in an effort to help protect our Earth's environment. Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, wholeheartedly backs the updated legislation. "I support it for all the environmental reasons," Mayor Lee said.
In addition to ecological concerns, the cost of cleaning up plastic bags across San Francisco is becoming too much to deal with. ASI reports that the city's environmental officials spend nearly $9 million each year to deal with the garbage.
By October 2012, stores and shops included in the law's expansion will have to comply. However, the extended ordinance will not apply to restaurants until the New Year. Stores and eateries that violate the ban may face a series of fines.