Evanston city staff will seek Economic Development Committee approval Wednesday night of a new tax on all point-of-sale bags.
The new 10-cent per bag tax would apply to plastic bags of any thickness, paper and compostable bags.
Since 2014 the city has banned the use of non-reusable point-of-sale plastic bags at large retail stores.
But, in a memo to the committee, Sustainability Coordinator Cara Pratt says the ban still “allows for the free distribution of too many disposable bags,” both the common thin ones and thicker plastic bags generally considered reusable.
Ald. Devon Reid (8th) is backing the new bag tax, but wants to exempt people paying with food stamps from the charge.
The city’s Environment Board wants to see some of the revenue a bag tax would generate used to “visibly advance” the city’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan goals.
Under the Chicago ordinance stores can absorb the cost of the tax themselves, or charge the customer $0.07 per bag and retain $0.02 of the fee themselves
The use of reusable bags, an option to avoid the bag tax, was banned statewide early in the pandemic amid fears it could contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
Update: Wednesday night’s EDC meeting was canceled for lack of a quorum. The meeting now has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 31, at 6 p.m. in Room 2404 at the Civic Center.