(Walmart / Flickr)

Chicago’s bag tax has resulted in a decrease in the use of disposable bags since taking effect early last year, but a majority of shoppers still use at least one disposable bag per trip, a new study shows.

(Walmart / Flickr)

Studies estimate that more than 100 billion plastic bags are used annually in the U.S. But in Chicago, many shoppers have switched their habits since the start of the city’s tax on plastic and paper bags, a new study shows. 

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.

(Illinois Environmental Council)

Starting Wednesday, customers will pay a 7-cent tax on each paper and plastic bag provided by stores to carry out items in all Chicago retail stores. 

The $8.2 billion spending plan doesn’t contain nearly as much pain for city taxpayers as last year’s budget, but grocery shopping could get a bit more expensive.

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.

Starting Aug. 1, 2016, chain stores that are 10,000 square feet or less must comply with the city's plastic bag ban originally enacted a year ago. (MTSOfan / Flickr)

As of Monday, chain stores that are 10,000 square feet or less must comply with the city's plastic bag ban originally enacted a year ago.

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.


Alderman Looks to Close Loopholes on Ban Starting Aug. 1

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.

Plastic bag ban, pedicab drivers, digital billboards, and more, Paris Schutz has the latest on a flurry of activity by the Chicago City Council today. 

City Council members move forward on a plan to ban plastic bags at grocery stores. Paris Schutz has the latest. 

Is the city about to join San Francisco and nearly 100 other cities across the country in passing a ban on plastic bags? We discuss the proposed ban with Ald. George Cardenas, chairman of the Committee on Health and Environmental Protection, who today held hearings on the issue and says he has the City Council votes to pass a ban.

A young girl begs Gov. Pat Quinn to "sack" a controversial bill that would prevent towns from getting rid of plastic bags. Paris Schutz has the story.