Specifically, its city council does. From the Associated Press:
The law, passed by a 10-1 vote, requires large markets and drug stores to give customers only a choice among bags made of paper that can be recycled, plastic that breaks down easily enough to be made into compost, or reusable cloth.
San Francisco supervisors and supporters said that by banning the petroleum-based sacks, blamed for littering streets and choking marine life, the measure would go a long way toward helping the city earn its green stripes.
Here’s some background. This probably won’t bug the San Francisco board of supervisors, but it seems wrong to tell large retailers they can’t use plastic bags while small ones can. If it’s a necessary environmental step, it should be good enough for everybody. (That’d help reduce confusion in the recycling bins, too.) Also, again we see people saying that the corn-based alternatives will be great for farmers. Be that as it may, it’s not a reason to ban plastic.
Still, plastic bags are a menace, even if they’re often reused for household garbage and lunches and whatnot: two uses for a thing that lasts pretty much forever isn’t enough.
San Francisco follows the lead of Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, whose recent claim to fame is its deal with InStore Products Limited — maker of stoutly constructed plastic bins your grocery store sells for the cost of about 500 plastic bags — to ban plastic bags in favour of reusable alternatives just like those made by InStore.