Plastic Bag Costs

In 2004 The City of San Francisco estimated the cost of clean up and landfill at 17 cents per bag.  Here is how they calculated the cost per bag for the 50 million bags used in that city per year.

  • Contamination of recycling stream: $1.09 million/year = 2.2 cents per bag.
  • Collecting and disposing of bags: $3.6 million/year = 7.2 cents per bag.
  • Removing bags from streets: $2.6 million/year = 5.2 cents per bag.
  • Processing in landfills: $1.2 million/year = 2.4 cents per bag.

Total cost per bag in SF alone: $8.49 million/year = 17 cents per bag