Chicago 2017 Budget passes- adding a new “Check out Bag Tax”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as part of his 2017 budget introduced on Oct. 11, proposed adding a 7-cent tax on plastic and paper bags used in the city. In a recent Chicago Daily Herald article, Molly Poppe, Office of Budget and Management, was quoted saying: “Ultimately, the goal of the (bag) tax is to change behavior and change how people utilize disposable bags.” The checkout tax replaces Chicago’s 1-year-old plastic bag ordinance, which carried fines for stores that did not provide reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic bags. That ordinance, which had yet to fully roll out, proved less effective than hoped, per Poppe.

On November 16, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget was approved by the city council. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017 a checkout tax of 7 cents per bag will be added at all Chicago retailers – 5 cents of which will go to the city and retailers retain 2 cents. It is expected to generate more that $10 million dollars in revenue for the city. The tax does not apply to restaurants and families in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, often called food stamps

Make sure to keep checking our website for updates on single use bag legislation that is pending or being implemented. Our retail packaging specialists stay on top of the ever changing market conditions. Let us help you navigate bag legislation in the municipalities you sell into and select the best packaging for your stores. We hope that you will contact us by phone at 888-429-5673 or via email at baglaws@swalter.com.

Chicago Approves Plastic Bag Ban

Chicago, the nation’s third largest city, has become the latest U.S. city to approve a ban on plastic shopping bags.

The City Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of a partial plastic bag ban in Chicago. The proposal passed with a vote of 36-10.

The new ordinance will first go into effect in August 2015, when retailers occupying stores that are more than 10,000 square foot will no longer be allowed to offer plastic bags. Chain stores—defined as three or more under the same ownership—or franchise stores larger than 10,000 square feet. The ban will be extended to smaller chain stores and franchises in August 2016. Small independent or non-franchise stores and restaurants will not be affected by the legislation. Restaurants are exempt.

Last year, the nation’s second largest city, Los Angeles, California adopted plastic bag regulations. New York City, the largest city in the U.S. is currently considering a plastic shopping bag proposal.

Listed below are the United States’ largest cities that have passed plastic shopping bag regulations

Rank City Plastic Bag Regulations
2 Los Angeles, CA Passed plastic bag ban, June, 2013
3 Chicago, IL Passed plastic bag ban, April, 2014
9 Dallas, TX Five cents fee, plastic or paper, March, 2014
10 San Jose, CA Passed plastic and paper bag ban, December, 2010
11 Austin, TX Passed ban on plastic and paper bags, March, 2012
14 San Francisco, CA Passed plastic bag ban, April, 2007
22 Seattle, WA Passed plastic bag ban, December, 2011
24 Washington, D.C. Five cents fee, plastic or paper, July, 2009
28 Portland, OR Passed plastic bag ban, July, 2011

Our retail packaging specialists continue to stay on top of the changing markets. Let us help you navigate bag legislation in the municipalities you sell into and select the best packaging for your stores. We hope that you will contact us by phone at 888-429-5673 or via email at baglaws@swalter.com.