Plastic Bags Getting the Sack Across US

San Francisco ban in effect; taxes, prohibition likely elsewhere
By Becky Dalzell,  Newser User
Posted Mar 15, 2008 8:42 PM CDT
Giant supermarket in Washigton has plastic and paper bags available, and sells reusable bags in the store.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – The party's over for plastic bags, USA Today reports. A San Francisco ban on petroleum-based bags already has imitators from coast to coast. Massachusetts is eyeing a bill that would "nudge" consumers with a 2-cent tax on each bag; Connecticut could slap retailers with a $1,000 fine for using non-biodegradable sacks.

"It's a modest act that makes people feel that they're actually contributing," says the San Francisco ban's sponsor, who notes plastic-bag litter has noticeably dropped while use of reusable totes has increased. New York City and California require some retailers to recycle them, a move preferred by the American Chemistry Council, which says plastic requires 40% less energy to make than paper.