Evanston aldermen on Monday are scheduled to discuss imposing a five-cent tax on disposable plastic and paper shopping bags. What do you think of that idea?

Evanston aldermen on Monday are scheduled to discuss imposing a five-cent tax on disposable plastic and paper shopping bags. What do you think of that idea?

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Bag tax?

    How many more rules, regulations, taxes, and/or fees are needed to drive any remaining retail business out of Evanston?

    1. Thats the Plan

      Thats the plan of city council. Then they could bring in more of the tax payer subsidized "Arts Centers" they love to waste are money on into the vacant space.

  2. Just ban plastic bags already.

    The city needs to stop trickling in more and more taxes and fees. And regarding plastic bags. Just ban them already!

  3. A First Step

    Before and maybe instead of a tax on plastic bags, make re-cycling of them easier.

    From downtown to the north of Evanston, I only know of two places that re-cycle the bags:Whole Foods and Dominicks.  Three if you include Jewel in Wilmette.

    It might be easier for people if the city would create more like City Hall, EPL Main, EPL North, Chandler-Neuberg(sp), etc..

    If they could get NU to cooperate, Norris, Tech.

    Maybe D&D, CVS, etc..


    As with other writers, some people stop at stores on way from CTA or Metra and don't carry bags.  Others while on bikes or jogging and can reasonable only carry a few bags [or buy more than they planned].  I'm all for reducing waste [though I rarely see those bags on the streets] and costs to merchants, but I question the charge—I'm sure Jewel on Greenbay will profit at expense of Dominicks.

  4. Bag the bag tax

    Sorry to disrupt this conversation with facts, but if you bother to link to


    see pp 55 on

    You will find an ecoanlysis of bags.   It turns out that polyethylene bags are ecologically superior to compostable bags. Paper bags are worse. As for reusable cloth bags, in theory they sound great. However they do accumulate food liquids and debris and have to be washed for safety reasons. That does not help their carbon and water profile. In the end, from a carbon viewpoint, plastic bags are preferred.

    This does not touch the business impact issue to Evanston retailers.

    This is all silly. Let us get on to real issues: the collapsing financial state of our  municipality.

  5. Seattle (finally) bans plastic shopping bags

    After a groundbreaking measure to discourage consumers from using disposable plastic shopping bags was squashed by voters in 2009, Seattle is back in the bag-banning game in a big way.

    At long last, the Seattle City Council has unanimously green-lighted a wide-reaching ban on disposable plastic shopping bags — not just at supermarkets but at farmers markets, department and convenience stores, home improvement centers, and even food trucks.

    As mentioned, the ban has been a looong time coming for Seattle. In 2008, the city became the first in the nation to approve a fee (20 cents) on both plastic and paper shopping bags. That game-changing measure was met by a $1.4 million campaign-of-protest by the American Chemistry Council and was repealed by voters in 2009. In the years since the failed measure, Seattle residents have blown through 292 million plastic bags annually (only about 13 percent are recycled) while other cities both local (Bellingham, Edmonds and Portland, Ore.) and further afield (Washington, D.C.; San Francisco) have enacted similar bag fees and outright bans. The Seattle ban is directly modeled after the ban in Bellingham.




      1. Bag return ? A refund ?

        If merchants have to charge for plastic bags, will they also have to refund for bags returned ? For bags maybe from a city that does not charge ? Have an employee to rate condition of bags returned—e.g. full refund if 51% of bag is still there ?

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