The members of the committee of the Health and Environmental Protection of Chicago recently had a meeting. In this meeting, the members heard the testimonies on the ordinance on the plastic bag reduction. This ordinance was introduced by Ald. Joe Moreno in November 2011. Moreno is one of the aldermen who want plastic bags to be banned in the city.

Details of the Ordinance Including Wholesale Canvas Bags

Moreno supported his decision by saying that plastic bags are doing the same thing today that Styrofoam had done previously. He said that people have already learnt a lesson from it and should not let history repeat itself.

The ordinance read that plastic bags are not biodegradable and break down into smaller pieces which are toxic. These toxic bits, over time, pollute soil as well as water. It also read that close to 12 million containers of oil are used each year throughout the world for producing plastic bags.

The proposed measure suggests ban of plastic bags in such stores that cover retail space of 5000 square feet. The ordinance also states that stores will not be allowed to hand out carryout bags made from plastic to its customers. The proposal clearly mentions that these retailers will have to provide reusable bags like wholesale canvas bags, cloth bags, totes, etc. to their customers. The store owners will be allowed to charge the customers for these bags.

Ald. George Cardenas said that most of the members of the committee have shown their support for the ordinance. But they need to be given time to talk to the manufacturers with regard to the different bag options that will be available to replace the plastic bags. The members also need to be given time to listen to the reaction of the people towards the ban.

Moreno said that he is open to suggestions but he is only looking forward to those suggestions which will help in strengthening the measure or expanding it. He also made it clear that he is not ready for something that will weaken the ordinance.

Solution in the Form of Wholesale Canvas Bags

Field coordinator of Environment Illinois, Kathryn Abendroth said that plastic bags not only harm the environment but also create problems by getting stuck in the sewer grates. They also get tousled in the manufacturing machinery which causes economic loss to the businesses as well as the government. Reusable and recycled bags, on the other hand are free from such problems.