Boston Mulls Ban on Plastic Bags: Report

BOSTON -- Like San Francisco before it, the Boston City Council is reported to be seriously considering a ban on plastic bags at supermarkets, pharmacies, and other retailers.

Sponsored by councilor Robert Consalvo, the measure, which also proposes more recycling for bags, has already been endorsed by nine of the 12 council members. Boston mayor Thomas Menino would need to sign the measure before it can go into effect.

At the state level, Massachusetts state senator Brian A. Joyce said he would sponsor a bill that would charge a two-cent fee next year -- rising to 15 cents in 2015 -- to shoppers who use plastic bags at retailers with yearly profits higher than $1 million, according to the Boston Globe.

Christopher Flynn, president of the Massachusetts Food Association, likened such proposals to "trying to use a hammer to kill a fly. You're targeting and making the plastic bags a scapegoat for litter and environmental issues, which is not the ultimate problem. The problem is individuals and their own behavior."

Other cities currently looking into plastic bag bans include Phoenix and Portland, Ore.
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