CHICAGO (CBS) – A new meaning to BYOB – Bring your own bag…or pay the tax.
The Chicago Checkout Bag Tax takes effect on Wednesday, Feb. 1 affecting retailers of all sizes, from grocery stores to clothing and convenience stores in Chicago. The tax is an extra $0.07 per bag on disposable paper and plastic bags.
To help Chicagoans avoid the tax and increase awareness on recycling, the City along with several large retailers will be distributing free, reusable bags at locations citywide.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday a partnership with Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s, Target and Whole Foods to provide Chicago residents free, reusable bags ahead of the Chicago Checkout Bag Tax.
“I’m happy to partner with the business community on this outreach effort to help residents build the habit of bringing their own shopping bags,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By providing residents a reusable bag, we are giving them the tools they need to avoid the tax, and we will also help to reduce the number of paper and plastic bags used in Chicago.”
The City is conducting a ‘day of action’ to give away free, reusable “ChiBags” to residents across Chicago. The giveaway will take place Wednesday, Feb. 1 at seven CTA station during the evening commute. The exact station locations were not yet available.
Several large retailers will conduct their own free, reusable bag giveaway ahead of the tax beginning Wednesday. A limited number of free, reusable bags will be available at the following locations:
-Jewel-Osco: All 35 Chicago locations; First 100 customers on Saturday, Jan. 28, will receive a reusable bag
-Mariano’s: All 13 Chicago locations; First 100 customers on Saturday, Jan. 28, will receive a reusable bag, plus a half off coupon for a second reusable bag purchased that day.
“We are looking forward to partnering with the City of Chicago to help provide Chicago residents with free, reusable shopping bags,” said Don Rosanova, president of Mariano’s. “We are also offering our customers a special promotional price on Mariano’s reusable bags in order to make our customers’ transition easier. Moving forward, we will continue our policy of rebating our customers $.05 per reusable bag each time they shop.”
-Target: All 16 Chicago locations; First 200 customers on Wednesday, Feb.1, will receive a reusable bag
-Whole Foods: All 12 Chicago locations; First 1,000 customers will receive a reusable bag