Ald. Moreno Introduces Ordinance To Ban Plastic Bags

CHICAGO (CBS) — Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno (1st) has introduced his ordinance calling for a ban on plastic bags at large retailers in the city.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports from City Hall, Moreno was flanked by several of his colleagues as he explained why he wants to ban plastic bags in stores over 50,000 square feet in size.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“These bags in the city of Chicago – we use 3 billion – B – billion of these a year,” he said. “They are horrible for our environment. They are terrible for our Streets and Sanitation workers. You talk to any worker – when they clean out a sewer, they’re pulling dozens and hundreds of these bags out.”

San Francisco and Aspen, Colo., already ban plastic bags.

Moreno says only big stores are included in the ordinance because they can better handle the expense, and aldermen don’t want to burden small businesses – yet.

Under the ordinance, stores would be fined $150 to $250 for not complying.

The billions of bags used in Chicago are not merely eyesores, Moreno argues. Besides the litter problem, to make the bags takes 12 million barrels of oil each year, and they’re difficult to recycle.

Moreno said in October if the outright ban doesn’t fly in the Council, he’ll go to Plan B: charging a tax of 10 cents on retailers for every plastic bag they buy. He figures that could bring millions of dollars in revenue to the city and put pressure on stores to stop using the bags.

Evanston officials are also weighing a law restricting shopping bags. The north suburban city’s Environmental Board has recommended an ordinance that would require consumers to pay 5 cents for every plastic or paper bag.

Supporters of the fee hope it will encourage consumers to skip the disposable bags and use recyclable bags.

  • tom Sharp

    Just don’t let these City Hall crooks put this one on the consumer. I don’t care what bag I use, often I bring my own. Do this with common sense in a reasonable time-frame for transition. Let the retailer pay up or change, but don’t charge me for it!

  • Bad Idea

    I reuse every single shopping bag I take home. I have cats if you get my drift. What about the people who use them when walking their dogs? This is a stupid idea that will end up costing the consumer more money!

    • Roberta Waker

      I totally agree because we, too, reuse every plastic bag I bring home. People with dogs will have to use paper towels or maybe their hands – THEN what will they do with the poop? Instead of cracking down on the people that litter, punish everyone – really a stupid idea. Surely there MUST be more important issues for the alderman to worry about and deal with.

      • Don Snafio

        Wrong. Dog owners should be using the specific bags that are made for animal waste, which are also recyclable. These grocery bags weren’t intended for picking up animal waste. Stop being so cheap and buy the appropriate bags. Besides, if you think about it, you aren’t getting those plastic grocery bags for free in the first place. The store already prices that into the product you are buying that will go in that bag. Wise up.

  • Smooth

    Does Alderman Moreno have other high priority isssues to address than plastic bags? Talk about wast in city govenment, this guy should be removed from office and replaced immediately. What a waste of time in city hall to discuss this issue. Impeach the alderman !!!!!

  • Da Southside

    The point is taken, but the cost will be passed on to the consumer, and the bags that are in the sewers, and flying all over the neighborhoods are from small retailers. Sorry, but the shopping done at large retailers (stores over 50,000 square feet ) are usually items you bring home and put away.

  • Don Snafio

    Good for you Alderman Moreno. I completely agree that it is digusting to see all these plastic bags littered all over Chicago. CVS, Walgreens, Dominicks, Jewel, etc. You name it, I’ve seen it littered in every neighborhood. Keeping up with littering, atop the list of most littered items besides plastic bags would be cigarette packs, bottled water, and pop cans, beer cans, beer bottles, Red Bull and Monster cans etc. With garbage cans all over the city, it digusts me that people are too lazy and ignorant to just toss their empty items in the cans. I even see people 5 feet from an empty garbage can only to just lay their garbage on the ground next to people. Listen up people. Stop littering !

    • Roberta Waker

      Littering will NEVER stop unless and until people pay for littering with fines. Maybe a $500 fine will get the message across and help the environment at the same time. Don’t penalize everyone – only the guilty, please.

  • Rufino

    The people are littering, not the stores. Why are you punishing the stores? And what is your solution to shoppers who want to carry their groceries home from the store?

    Finally, it is laughable that you are going to selectively enforce the fines based on the size of the store. “Equal protection under the law” doesn’t apply?

    • Don Snafio

      True, however, if you take aways these bags, then people will not be able to litter them. Simple enough. Besides, people pretend they care about the environment, if they really do they should not be using these plastic bags, but rather reusable bags made from recycling material. Wake up people.

  • Just Axin

    Joe just loves attention. He’s made some goofy comments when it comes to kowtowing to bicyclists, and now this? Looks like there are other ald a$$holes that need to be voted out.

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