The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Ald. Moreno Suggests Ban on Plastic Bags

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Oct 14, 2011 9:20PM

Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward) is proposing the city ban plastic bags and fine stores for providing them to cut down costs on clean-up and raise money from scofflaws. Moreno suggests big retailers be fined $150 to $250 for issuing plastic bags, but there was no mention of small business. The urban tumbleweeds are everywhere you turn, whether they're trapped in a tree, sucked into vents or blowing in the breeze like American Beauty CBS2 writes:

The billions of bags used in Chicago are not merely eyesores, Moreno argues. To make them takes 12 million barrels of oil each year, and they’re difficult to recycle. Plus, they can clog up the sewer system.

“I went out and talked to the guys that actually do it,” Moreno says. “They pull out hundreds of plastic bags out of our sewers. So, it’s costing the city money.”

There has been momentum building to join the ranks of Los Angeles and San Francisco in banning plastic bags for some time. (Austin is also toying with the idea of a ban.) Earlier this year Jewel-Osco announced they would start training their baggers not to double-bag groceries to cut waste. Plastic bags have been banned from farmers' markets since 2008. Our neighbors to the north in Evanston are considering a ban, also.

By the way, if you have a pile of bags stuffed in your kitchen cabinet (Who doesn't?), we have a crafty idea for crochet-ers on how you can use them.