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San Francisco Was the First Major City To Ban Plastic Bags. Now It's Banning Reusable Bags To Combat Coronavirus.

Added 04-06-20 04:21:02pm EST - “Preserving consumer choice allows stores and shoppers to respond nimbly to uncertain risks.” - Reason.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “San Francisco Was the First Major City To Ban Plastic Bags. Now It's Banning Reusable Bags To Combat Coronavirus.”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The world really has turned upside down. In 2007 San Francisco became the first large city in the country to ban single-use plastic bags. Now, as part of its effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, the city is banning the reusable tote bags it's spent over a decade promoting.

Last week, the San Francisco Department of Health published an update to its guidelines for the city's already strict shelter-in-place order. These new guidelines include social distancing protocols that so-called "essential" businesses must follow when applicable.

Included in the protocol section on preventing unnecessary contact is a directive for businesses to prohibit customers from bringing their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items from home.

As SFGate notes, the updated guidance does not address the status of the city's existing plastic bag ordinance, which bans the distribution of non-compostable single-use plastic bags, and requires stores to charge ten cents for each compostable, paper, or reusable bag a customer uses. That fee is set to increase to 25 cents in July 2020.

Both New York and Maine have suspended the implementation of their state-level plastic bag bans because of the novel coronavirus.

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