Mayor to Listen to the Arguments on Plastic Ban in Chicago Stores

promotional reusable bagsIn Chicago, environmentalists have come together to support a proposal for a ban on plastic bags in stores. However, this proposal has not been supported by retailers as they feel that such a step would affect business. Being a crucial decision-maker, the mayor will weigh the pros and cons with members of City Council since the ban is likely to have an impact on the environment as well as the economy.

What the public and the authorities have to say

Everyone is well aware of the adverse impact that plastic bags have on the environment, and the inconvenience as well as the short-term costs that will be incurred after the ban of plastic bags are minuscule in comparison. This fact was emphasized by thirteen year old Abby Goldberg, a resident of Grayslake. The spokesperson for 5 Gyres Institute, Stiv Wilson, said that his institute expected to find a high density of plastic byproducts in Lake Michigan.

Retailers stated that their profits would be affected by this ban if they were required to provide the customer with a paper bag, the cost of each bag being ten cents. Tanya Triche, a lawyer for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, supported the retailers on this issue.

The council Health Committee Chairman, Ald. George Cardenas, 12th, suggested that the bags be phased out gradually, over a period of a year and a half to two years. He added that retailers would need to provide customers with bags made of biodegradable material such as paper. It would be up to the retailer to decide whether he should charge for them or not. However, he also stated that retailers who charged for this service could be at a competitive disadvantage. In addition, he also stated that he didn’t feel the need to charge customers for the disposable bags. Instead, the store owners could sell reusable bags and the non-availability of plastic bags would make customers carry their own reusable bags.

Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno, 1st (the proposed ban’s sponsor), said that most of his colleagues would support a ruling that would prevent store owners from selling any product in plastic bags, provided the mayor is in favor of the ban. At the time, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was out of town and his decision was awaited.

Promotional reusable bags will get popular with the ban

With the unavailability of plastic bags, most customers will turn to reusable bags in order to avoid the recurrent cost of paper bags. So, store owners could use this ban as a method to promote their stores through the use of promotional reusable bags. Brightly colored, attractive bags with the store name, logo, and company message will definitely make a bold statement to the general public that the store cares for the environment. A customer too would like to carry around a stylish reusable bag. The more attractive these customized reusable bags are, the better will be the chances of these getting popular.

Source:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-chicago-aldermen-hear-arguments-on-plastic-bag-ban-20130618,0,4826813.story

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