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A city ordinance intended to curb disposable bags will go into effect Feb. 1. (Walmart / Flickr)

Shopping trips may become additionally taxing for Chicagoans starting in February as the checkout bag tax is set to go into effect on the first of the month.

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One year in and the city's ban on flimsy, one-use plastic bags is now fully in effect. But is it really reducing pollution or, as some critics charge, is it actually making the problem worse? Our panel examines the ban's impact.

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The plastic bag ordinance that took effect Aug. 1 may not be having the impact that was intended, as retailers begin to offer thicker plastic bags in place of the older, thinner ones. Environmentalists say that alternatives exist, while retailers insist their customers prefer plastic. However, there may be a way to reduce plastic bag use that both environmentalists and retailers can agree on. Brandis Friedman has the story.

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Alderman Looks to Close Loopholes on Ban Starting Aug. 1

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The city of Chicago's partial ban on plastic bags is now in place, but the ordinance as it's currently written will still allow stores to give out plastic bags, provided they meet certain standards. We discuss the new rules and proposed changes to them.

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