Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi then introduced legislation to ban the bags altogether, which passed the board and was signed by Mayor Gavin Newsom earlier this year.
"It was really the only choice," Mirkarimi said. He said the resistance from grocers resulted from their being "creatures of habit."
"Part of that habit is imposing the cost of convenience on customers and city governments," said Mirkarimi, who added later that he is considering a "menu of possibilities" for further measures. He would not say what those are, though, because of the experience with the bag fee.
I would like to know if Supervisor Mirkarimi thinks this new policy of the city government is imposing any cost upon grocers and customers.
For some comparison, according to an NPR report from March of this year, South Africa, Taiwan, and Bangladesh have already banned the plastic bags, while Ireland has a tax on them.
If the city is going to engage in social engineering, they should at least do it right. If they really wanted to make a statement, they would outlaw all new paper and plastic bags. They would require people to bring their own bags or reuse boxes like they do at Costco. Paper kills trees, and as I have been told by many a person, trees are sacred and have feelings too.
The next time my housemates and I go to the Berkeley Bowl, we will bring some fine California Republican Party canvas bags. As we bag our organic produce, we will be saving the environment one paper or plastic bag at a time.