City Council approves complete ban on plastic bags, tax on all single-use bags


Illustration by Shannon Tyler

In May, Evanston City Council approved an ordinance that would ban plastic bags “community-wide,” including at restaurants and large retailers.

Casey He, Assistant City Editor

City Council voted unanimously to approve a complete ban on plastic bags and a tax on other single-use carryout bags Monday.

Both the tax and the ban will go into effect Aug. 1. 

The ordinance contains several changes from its first appearance before the council in January. It now includes a 10-cent tax — a decrease from the previously proposed 15 cents — on carryout single-use bags. It exempts restaurants, non-chain stores and businesses smaller than 10,000 square feet from the tax. 

The ordinance also includes a complete ban on plastic bags in all city businesses, making Evanston the first municipality in Illinois to do so.

During Monday’s meeting, Ald. Devon Reid (8th) said he thinks the ordinance will help the city advance its Climate Action and Resilience Plan goals, which include zero waste and carbon neutrality by 2050. 

“This is important for Evanston. It is us moving forward with our values (and) our belief in CARP,” Reid said during the meeting. “It’s a small step, but it’s a good first step.”

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