Evanston Makes Way for Promotional Bags
August 7, 2014 by
After 3 years of being shelved and postponed, the ordinance for the ban on disposable plastic bags has finally been passed in Evanston. It has been possible due to the relentless pressure applied by environmentalists and Chicago implemented a partial ban on the bags in spring this year. The ban will affect people who shop in chain and franchise stores mainly.
Ordinance Gets Green Signal for Promotional Bags
Aldermen voted 5-4 to pass the ordinance and some aldermen, like Ald. Ann Rainey, stated that the Chicago ban largely influenced their decision to vote for the ban. They wont be penalizing anyone for the use of the bags nor levying any additional taxes. All they want is that shoppers start getting their own reusable shopping bags, which is why many stores, big and small, are stocking up on promotional bags. Ald. Coleen Burrus, who was one of the firmest and longest supporter of this ban, compares the hurdles that delayed the passing of this ordinance (which will only be effective next year) with those when they passed a no-smoking rule in public places such restaurants and bars; many people claimed that the towns eating establishments would incur heavy losses.
Now that that ban has been a huge success and people adjusted to these changes, thus resulting in no loss for everyone but lesser pollution and healthier eating environments for everyone, she hopes that Evanston will be an example that many other areas will follow.
Some people like Ald. Don Wilson raised a concern that paper bags required more energy and water to be produced which also resulted in more greenhouse gas emissions and waste which was counterproductive to the ban on plastics. He feels that the ban was placed to protect the environment but with more people replying on paper bags, that cannot be achieved. Aldermen Judy Fiske, Peter Braithwaite and Delores Holmes were worried about the impact the ban will have on their local businesses. They are aware that extra costs are being passed on to the residents and hope to mitigate the negative effects of the ban by holding widespread informative drives to make the ban a success when it takes effect from August 1st, 2015.
Store owners must report what kind of bags they plan on stocking and dispensing to their customers by filling up an online form and the city will communicate with them and the local residents with details about promotional bags to help them with their future shopping expeditions.
Promotional Bags aimed at Eco-Living
Just from the beach of Lake Michigan, more than 400 plastic bags are collected each day, not to mention those that litter the streets and buildings of the area and which cause many animals to die each year. Though the response to the ban has been mixed so far, with the use of promotional bags that can be reused and recycled, it is hoped that the ban will be a success in 2015 and in all the ears thereafter.