South San Francisco's current voluntary bag ban proves that mandatory laws are needed to effectively address the issue.
The City of South San Francisco has been attempting a voluntary plastic bag ban for over nine months.
Retailers were encouraged to reduce single-use bag distribution by charging for them.
But according to the South San Francisco Patch, the voluntary measure has not resulted in a decrease in either plastic or paper bags.
In fact, the two Safeways as well as two major pharmacy store locations in the City are still giving out single-use bags for free.
We have seen voluntary efforts such as South San Francisco's fail before, including in Santa Clara County, where a plastic bag ban has been in effect since January.
The fact is that most stores are either unwilling or unable to comply with any voluntary bans unless it is mandated.
Fortunately, the City is willing to move forward with a plastic bag ordinance. South San Francisco is included in the San Mateo County Environmental Import Report for a regional bag ban.
Council Member Karyl Matsumoto told the Patch that even if the San Mateo County's bag ban doesn't progress as quickly as they would like, South San Francisco will move forward.