From: Paul Geary, ENN
Published September 1, 2005 12:00 AM

EarthNews Radio: Checkout Bag Fee Proposal

In our EarthNews Radio feature Tuesday, we asked if paper or plastic was preferable as a choice for use in making pallets, and the answer was surprising. Today we ask the same question in the context you're used to hearing it: at the supermarket. This time, the best answer is probably "neither."

Jerry Kay spoke to Jared Blumenfeld, the Director of San Francisco's Department of the Environment:

Checkout Bag Fee Proposal

Blumenfeld explained that San Franciscans use about 150 million bags a year, and the fee will help to reduce consumption.

He said that the heavy use of bags needs to be addressed. Waste shopping bags impose a large cost on city services such as litter collection and the cleaning of clogged storm drains. The fee would help to offset those costs. A fee, as opposed to a tax, does not go into the government's general fund, but has to be used in relation to the cost that is imposed.

Other municipalities are considering similar measures, and Ireland already charges such a fee.

To learn more about san Francisco's fee proposal, visit the city's Environment Department website.And be sure to visit EarthNews Radio's home here at ENN often to hear Jerry Kay's interviews with environmentalists, scientists, and activists on a wide variety of topics. You can find it at ENN Radio Network.

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