Evanston, Michigan City Council To Discuss Plastic Bag Tax

Evanston, Illinois is located just north of Chicago,  on Lake Michigan.  It is a coastal town and home to Northwestern University.  This type of geographical area and population is ripe for a encouraging the use of custom reusable bags and decreasing the amount of single use plastic bags distributed.  It is a progressive town that is interested in preserving and protecting it’s water ways.

Currently, the City of Evanston is looking into various waste reduction and recycling programs to address single use shopping bags in Evanston.   The city of Evanston says, “80,250 tons of plastic shopping and merchandise bags were disposed of in Illinois according to a 2009 Solid Waste Characterization study, which represents approximately 0.5% of the municipal solid waste.  Based on national annual averages for the shopping bag generation, individual Evanston residents consume approximately 428 plastic bags each year and their production is equivalent to 1,308 metric tones of carbon dioxide emissions or the equivalent of removing 256 passenger vehicles from the road each year.”

The Evanston Climate Action Plan, who works with the City of Evanston on recycling and sustainability issues, has suggested three strategies to Evanston City Council members.  The suggestions are to offer incentive programs to customers who bring their own reusable shopping bags, initiate a tax on single use bags to customers that need them, or support voluntary efforts by retailers that choose not to provide plastic bags to customers.

The Evanston City Council meets next week to discuss these options.  For more information on this story, go to The Chicago Tribune.


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