(CBS) — Nearly a month since the city banned disposable plastic bags, is it working? Is it doing what it was supposed to do?
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker takes a look.
Gone are the old disposable plastic bags, banned by the Chicago City Council in an effort to save the environment.
Jordan Parker didn’t like the ban when it was passed, and she doesn’t like it now. Why? She says these bags have just been replaced by something worse.
“It’s three to five time more plastic that’s now ending up in our environment or a landfill,” Parker says, referring to the “reusable” plastic bags that some retailers are offering as an alternative.
The thicker plastic bags cost more money. Compared to 2 cents for the old bags, these range from 6 cents to 12 cents apiece. Guess who pays for it? Customers, Parker says.
Retailers promote the new bags as reusable, but Parker says most people don’t bring them back.
Just out of curiosity CBS 2 did a test: two stores, 20 customers. How many of them bring back the reusable bag?
“I forgot them today,” one shopper said.
That was the majority. Seven of the 10 people CBS 2 stopped at Jewel came in without a bag. Three had reusable ones.
At Mariano’s nine out of 10 were slackers. Only one carried a bag. Again, most claimed they forgot, and one admitted she’s not a fan.
“I am missing plastic,” she said.
Mariano’s packs groceries in paper bags.
Parker would like to see all plastic banned. She believes an amendment charging customers for any bag is the only way to force shoppers to bring their own.
CBS 2 reached out to aldermen who proposed the ban, but could not get any comment.