Are taxes and bans the future of plastic shopping bags in Illinois?
The state legislature adjourned before taking action on Senate Bill 1597, which would require Illinois consumers to pay a 5 cent fee for every single-use paper or plastic bag, but similar proposals are being considered at the county and local levels.
A board member proposed a plastic bag ban last July in Winnebago County; and a group called Bring Your Own Glen-Ed wants Edwardsville and Glen Carbon to pass a 10 cent per bag fee. The group also is trying to organize residents in Belleville, Collinsville, Highland and Fairview Heights to do the same.
Currently, three local municipalities — Chicago, Oak Park and Evanston — either ban single-use plastic bags outright or charge a bag tax to consumers, according to BagtheBag.com.
All this despite studies that have found it takes less energy to produce single-use plastic bags compared to reusable bags and there’s a noted public health risk posed by bacteria found in reusable bags, according to a recent op-ed republished by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Illinois Municipalities Currently Taxing or Banning Single-Use Plastic Bags
|Municipality||Bag Ordinance||Date Enacted|
|Chicago||Citywide 7 cent tax on plastic and paper bags||Feb. 1, 2017|
|Evanston||Citywide ban on plastic bags less than 2.25 milliliters thick||Aug. 1, 2015|
|Oak Park||Citywide 10-cent bag tax for retail stores over 5,000 square feet||Jan. 1, 2018|