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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced a partnership with the state’s supermarket retailers that calls for reducing the number of bags entering the waste stream by 10 million by the end of 2006 and increasing checkout bag recycling. The Letter of Agreement was signed by the Mayor, San Francisco Department of Environment (DOE), Albertsons, Inc., Safeway Inc. and four charter grocery companies represented by California Grocers Association President Peter Larkin.

“The California grocery industry is pleased to work with the Mayor to reduce, reuse and recycle grocery store checkout bags,” said Larkin. “We believe grocers that operate in San Francisco can make a significant impact to help customers reduce plastic and paper bag use.”

The six grocery companies, representing eight different store banners and 60 percent of the 57 stores located in San Francisco include Albertsons, Andronico’s Markets, Bell Markets, Cal-Mart Supermarket, Cala Foods, Foods Co., Mollie Stone’s Markets and Safeway Inc. most of the remaining grocery companies in San Francisco are expected to sign the agreement.

Participating stores can use different strategies to reach the bag reduction goals including, but not be limited to: bagger retraining, selling reusable bags, minimizing double bagging and promoting in-store recycling. Several of the participating companies already provide bag recycling bins in their stores, while others sell reusable bags.
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