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Sunday, September 29, 2013

SF's 10 Cent Restaurant Take-Out Bag Ordinance - Another Stupid Law from Your City Government

The San Francisco city government is going to regret this...

Starting this Tuesday, October 1, 2013, a city ordinance will now require all food establishments to stop giving out plastic bags, and all delivery and take-out bags will cost a minimum of 10 cents each.

Due to the end of plastic bags, food establishments can only give out: paper bags with a minimum 40% post recycled user content (most commonly used), compostable plastic bag, or a washable checkout bag that can be used more than 125 times (e.g. cloth bag).

But there are a few exceptions that has no ten cent charge that I'll highlight: Bags for things like bulk foods, candy, and to serve popcorn are exempt.  A bag used to contain seafood, meat, and frozen items.  A plastic bag is acceptable to seal items to prevent damage, mostly liquid items like soups and curries.  Lastly, there is no fee if you receive a doggy bag for your leftover food.

It Hurts Businesses
What does this mean for our city's restaurant establishments?  For those that has mostly dine-in patrons, the law won't impact them as badly because as I stated before, a doggy bag for leftovers is free.

But for those whose business is a majority of take-out, delivery, owns a bakery, or a fast food establishment, this bag law will be a problem.  It casts a negative aspect that every time a patron comes to order a meal, they will be forced to surrender an extra ten cents, by law, just so they can bring it in their office or bring it home to feed their family.

I'm predicting that if the ten cent bag law casts huge negative attention, people will stop going to establishments that exclusively depends on giving customers a bag to take their food items, baked goods, and their burger.  And what does that mean to everybody?  Businesses will lose their loyal customers, businesses will lose profits, the city and state will have less tax revenue to receive, and with less tax money coming in, less money can be spent by the government for the services used by the public.

Fast Food Restaurants Will Take a Hit
Take a look at McDonalds and Burger King, a majority of their restaurant patrons take it to-go.  I feel a lot of patrons will be grumpy that they are forced with the choice of eating-in (if they have the time), bringing their own bag which will then get all greasy and sticky, or fork over the ten cents in the name of greedy city government stupidvisors.

The 10 Cent Bag Law when comparing a Restaurant versus Grocery Store
When you compare food establishments versus grocery stores, there's a big difference with the 10 cent bag law.  At least when you buy groceries, bringing your own bag is fine because the products you buy are unlikely going to leak or stink up your bag.  But if you buy hot food items from a restaurant, bringing your own bag is a horrible idea because the smell of the food might stay into the fabrics, it might leak and make a greasy or sticky mess, and in the long run, reusable bags means after a small amount of use, people will likely throw it away and not wash it.

Akit's Opinions
I don't like the idea of forcing a 10 cent bag law on food establishments.  Restaurants that heavily depend on deliveries and take-out will get hurt the most.  Some of you might say it's just ten cents, but for someone like me who doesn't always have money to burn, I might as well get my take-out dinners from Daly City since I work not far at SF State.


Anonymous said...

So can I just go to McDonalds and get it "for here" and then ask for a free doggy bag?

Akit said...

Basically, yep. Eat one fry, get a doggie bag.

Anonymous said...

There is a McD's on Fillmore near the police station that is charging you the bag fee just to put fries from the warmer. I thought they cant do that.

Anonymous said...

This has gone way too far! I'm a person living on limited means and I don't splurge often, but sometimes I like going to McDonald's and get thier "mini" meal. This was the case yesterday, as I stopped at McDonald's on 2nd and Market St., I placed my usual "mini" meal order to go and was asked if I wanted a bag. I was a bit taken back and said, "of course, what do you expect me to do carry my fries, sandwich, and small drink in my hands?" He said they now charge 10 cents for a bag. Okay, I can deal with having to bring my own bags for groceries and what not but for fast food? Enough already! I can't even use the paper bag I "bought" yesterday as the greesy fries have made it impossible to reuse! I guess I'll continue to bring my own lunch from home. Portico's on Mission and 1st has been following this law and charges 15 cents for a small box to carry your sliced pizza in back to the office. The BOS are holding us hostage with their short sightedness and incompetence as they didn't think this through! Again, this is way out of hand! I realize we are only talking about 10 cents per bag but that starts to add up over a years time and this money doesn't have to be accounted for, it's not used to clean the City's streets it's just a larger profit for the merchants! Let's repeal this now!

Anonymous said...

Is there a petition to stop fast food joints from charging this ridiculous fee?