Chicago City Council committee approves plastic bag ban

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: April 24, 2014 7:11 pm ET
Updated: April 25, 2014 10:17 am ET

Image By: Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno

Related to this story

Topics Packaging Sustainability Public Policy Film & Sheet Extrusion
Companies & Associations

Chicago is poised to become the next major U.S. city to enact a ban on single-use plastic bags after a City Council committee vote April 24.

The Health and Environmental Protection Committee voted to approve an ordinance that would ban bags from most retailers by the summer of 2015

The matter now goes to the full council for consideration at its April 30 meeting, where it is expected to be approved.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel reiterated his support for the renegotiated version of the ban, which would now affect chain and franchise stores but not independent stores and restaurants. Beginning in August 2015 chain stores — defined as a group of three or more locations with the same owner—and franchise stores of more than 10,000 square feet. Smaller chains and franchises would have another year to phase out the bags.

Independent stores and restaurants would be exempt. All stores would have to provide or sell reusable bags, recyclable paper bags or compostable plastic bags and have the option of charging for the disposable bags.

Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno has spent more than two years spearheading the anti-bag effort in Chicago.

"Today for Chicago is a historic day in terms of our environment and moving into a new economy," Moreno told the Chicago Sun-Times. "These bags are a relic of yesterday's economy. There is no evidence—none, zero—from any country, state or city that has enacted similar bans of any job loss of any business loss."

American Progressive Bag Alliance disagrees, pointing out that the U.S. plastic bag manufacturing and recycling business employs 30,800 across the country, including 3,000 in Illinois.

Chairman Lee Califf said stepping up recycling programs would be better than a ban for the city, businesses and consumers.

"The decision to bring a proposed plastic bag ban to a full council vote is a bad move for Chicago, placing undue burden on big box retailers and grocers and the families that shop in these stores," Califf said. "Comprehensive plastic bag recycling education would better benefit Chicago and preserve consumer choice. We will continue to join forces with affected retailers, Chicago residents and those whose jobs are on the line, to convince the City Council that this policy is counterproductive to Chicago's future."

Chicago is only the most recent municipality to hop on the bag ban bandwagon. Starting with San Francisco in 2007, more than 70 California cities and counties have since enacted their own patchwork of bag taxes, fees and bans and the state is still vying for the title of first to enact a statewide plastic bag policy.

In January, California state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) reintroduced his bag ban bill, this time with the blessing of two of the senators who helped bury the measure in 2013 — enticed by $2 million in grant money to help offset potential job losses at California plastic bag factories.

On the other coast, Florida's attempt to beat California to the punch failed in April when a bill that would have allowed local governments to prohibit stores from offering plastic bags and allow stores to charge shoppers 10 cents for paper bags was pulled due to concerns from legislators over essentially enacting a new tax.

New York City, with the possibility of a polystyrene foam ban still looming, may also take a second crack at imposing a 10-cent fee on plastic bags later this year with a measure introduced April 19 by Manhattan Councilwoman Margaret Chin.


Comments

Chicago City Council committee approves plastic bag ban

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: April 24, 2014 7:11 pm ET
Updated: April 25, 2014 10:17 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Bemis Co. reports sales growth

April 24, 2015 9:57 am ET

Bemis Co. Inc., in what the company is describing as a strong quarter, saw consistent earnings from continuing operations.    More

Image

KHS cuts packaging with direct printing on PET bottles, adhesive multi-packs

April 23, 2015 1:39 pm ET

KHS GmbH has been pouring a lot of time into solving issues related to direct printing on PET bottles, and after eight years of work, everyone...    More

Image

MeadWestvaco joins the Recycling Partnership

April 23, 2015 11:19 am ET

MeadWestvaco Corp., a global packaging company with some operations in plastics, is joining the Recycling Partnership.    More

Image

Sidel, BMS reach agreement on spindle patent case

April 20, 2015 1:24 pm ET

Sidel Group and Blow Mold Services LLC have reached an agreement in Sidel's patent infringement lawsuit against BMS involving the spindle chain on a...    More

Image

Adidas phasing out plastic bag use

April 20, 2015 11:50 am ET

Sporting goods company Adidas AG is phasing out the use of plastic bags in its own retail stores as part of a larger effort raise awareness about ocea...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events