Council approves ban on plastic bags - FOX 32 News Chicago

Council approves ban on plastic bags

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Wednesday, the Chicago City Council voted to ban plastic bags at grocery stores. The vote was 36-10.

Stores larger than 10,000-square-feet would have to comply by August 2015. Smaller stores would have until August 2016.

Stores like Mariano's Target, Gap, Jewel and Walmart will now have to comply with the ban by the end of the summer. Independent stores and restaurants will be exempt from the ban on plastic bags.

When Chicago's Health and Environmental Protection committee approved the measure last week, it cited no jobs would be affected. At that time Alderman "Proco" Joe Moreno said plastic bags are "a relic of yesterday's economy."

The city spends millions of dollars cleaning up litter, and a lot of that litter is plastic bags. Several reports state it takes more energy and resources to make paper bags. But they say the upside is paper breaks down in landfills, while plastic remains.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has voiced his support for the ban.

Some shoppers say they are willing to make the change for the sake of eliminating pollution.

"It causes too many problems. When you are driving on the streets, they get stick on the front of your car. It's a good thing if they take it away," one shopper told FOX 32's Joanie Lum.

Others shoppers said they prefer plastic bags.

"Depending on how much you put in the paper bags, they tear quickly. So, they will have to double them each time. But I guess it will be better for the environment."

After the vote, the American Progressive Bag Alliance released a statement saying in part, "At a time when Chicago is troubled by rising crime and budget shortfalls, it is unbelievable that the city's aldermen and the mayor would choose to advance a misguided policy that will achieve no environmental benefit and, at the same time, harm businesses and consumers. This legislation, based on misinformation and photo-op politics, threatens a manufacturing industry that employs 30,800 Americans, including 3,000 people in Illinois."

"Even environmentalists agree that this bill is bad public policy.



The Associated Press contributed to this story

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