Improvements Needed in the Proposed Plastic Bag Ban in Chicago

Wholesale Reusable BagsEnvironmentalists had proposed a ban on plastic bags in stores in Chicago. However, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the proposed ordinance needed changes to suit the needs of the city as a whole, before it could be passed by the City Council. Until the proposed ban was discussed at length and the needed changes were introduced, aldermen would not vote on the measure, as reported WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore.    

What needs to be done?

Environmentalists had proposed a ban on plastic bags as they were adversely affecting the environment. Plastic bags take a long time to decompose and they clog up landfills, in turn occupying space that can be used for non-biodegradable waste. In addition, many used bags were repeatedly found littering the streets.

However, retailers felt that a sudden ban on plastic bags would affect their business, since the introduction of disposable bags was an expensive alternative to convenient plastic bags. Since the retailers were not prepared to bear this additional cost burden, the amount would have to be recovered from the customers.

Alderman Proco Joe Moreno (1st) proposed that all stores should supply reusable bags instead of plastic bags. These bags could be made of plastic provided they were thicker than the usual plastic grocery bag so that they could be used repetitively. Store keepers would be allowed to charge a nominal amount for these bags so that their profits would not be affected. Alternatively, customers could bring in their own reusable bags instead of spending on bags at every visit to a store.

It was recommended that the reusable bags had to be large enough to carry at least 22 pounds of goods. Keeping health concerns in mind, the bags had to be made with a machine washable fabric or some material that was easy to clean and disinfect. Every bag would also have to carry a permanent label with the manufacturer’s name. Repeated usage of these bags of up to a 125 times was also suggested.

If the proposal was accepted by the City Council, the ban would come into existence after a period of four months. After that if store owners violated the order and continued to use plastic bags, they would find their wallets lighter by $150 to $250 for each violation. In addition, store owners who failed to provide reusable bags would be fined $50 to $150 for each day of infringement.

Why wholesale reusable bags are better than plastic bags

Many people throw out plastic bags after a single use. As a result of this, a large number of plastic bags end up in dumping grounds where they could take up to 1000 years to decompose. This environmental hazard can be avoided, to a large extent, with the use of reusable bags.

Store owners can advertise their products through the use of these reusable bags by getting them custom-made with the name of their store and logo printed. They can also add pictures or details of their business on the same. When made attractively, these wholesale reusable bags are more stylish than plastic bags and people carry them around with pride.


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