Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as part of his 2017 budget, introduced on Oct. 11 a proposal to add a 7-cent tax on plastic and paper bags used in the city. This is an extension of an ordinance that went into effect in 2015 that put restrictions on the use of plastic bags. The new tax is due to ongoing negotiations between city retailer and environmental groups.
Under the first phase of this ordinance, which went into effect Aug. 1, 2015, chain stores and franchises over 10,000 square feet are banned from using standard thin plastic bags to carry groceries in, and are required to provide reusable bags instead. These requirements expanded to all chains and franchises within the city under the second phase of the ordinance, which went into effect Aug. 1, 2016. Any store that violates the ordinance could face a fine of $100-500.
The 7-cent fee will be split between the city- which will retain 5-cents and the retailers, which will retain 2-cents. It is expected to generate more that $10 million dollars in revenue for the city.
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