Chicago Proposes Ban On Plastic Bags - KMSP-TV

Chicago Proposes Ban On Plastic Bags

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The days of choosing between paper or plastic could be winding down if a proposed plastic bag ban is approved.

"I can see their point of view but for us, it would make things a little harder, much harder.  Plastic bags are cheaper, paper bags are much more expensive and much more expensive," said D'amato's Bakery owner, Frank Pedota.

Paper bags cost retailers about 10 cents while plastic bags cost 3 cents.

Frank Pedota is the owner Bari Subs and Italian Foods in the West Loop.

For more than four decades the family owned business has weathered many economic storms and says a plastic bag ban would hurt but they'd survive.

"Whatever needs to be done we do, you know.  Whatever the city of Chicago says we do," explains Pedota.

Alderman Joe Moreno is pushing a proposal to ban plastic bags at all Chicago retailers.

He reportedly introduced an expanded version of the year old proposal at last Wednesday's city council meeting.

The new proposal includes small retailers.

"This in effect is a tax on retailers because it raises retailers cost.  They have to order more paper bags as a result of banning plastic bags and so when a retailers' cost are raised, many retailers can't afford to absorb that extra cost so that cost is going to be passed down.  Most likely you'll see it in higher prices," explains vice president of Chicago Retail Merchants Association, Tanya Triche.

Moreno told the Chicago Sun Times, "I've got 47 signatures. I'm very confident we have the votes. We've been kicking this around for years. I'm not a very patient guy, but I've been patient on this. It's time to move."

Triche counters, "Is that what consumers want?  Do consumers want to pay higher prices for grocers just to ban plastic bags? We think not."

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