Chicago Sun-Times
A dialog between Sun-Times opinion writers and our readers

Plastic bag recycling efforts need a push

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

Plastic bags.jpg

Last August, Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed an industry-backed bill that would have required plastic bag manufacturers to set up recycling programs in the suburbs and Downstate. An override effort in the Senate failed in November by a 24-23 vote. (Thirty-six votes were needed to override.)

Quinn said the bill didn't go far enough. But here's the problem: In the five months since then, plastic bag recycling has gone nowhere.

Some environmentalists think the answer to all those plastic bags blowing around state and filling up landfills is a per-bag fee or an outright ban. But outside of Highland Park, which already had a law, nothing has actually gone on the books. (Chicago also had a recycling program in place.)

Going through the process of making a proposal, discussing it, reaching a consensus and then actually passing an ordinance takes time. But where are the municipalities that have enacted a ban or a tax, or are even on the way to doing so?

The bill that died in Springfield had a five-year sunset provision, so the argument that we need something better only works if you get the improved version in place within five years.

But there's little or nothing on the horizon, either statewide or locally, to recycle bags and film, ban their use or charge a fee.

Instead, plastic bags and film continue to fill up our landfills.

Follow BackTalk on Twitter@STBackTalk

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

1 Comment

In your article, you ask, "But where are the municipalities that have enacted a ban or a tax, or are even on the way to doing so?"

There are municipalities throughout the world that are highlighted on our interactive worldwide bag ban map . This map is a great place to start to get the stories behind bag bans and fees throughout the world. Feel free to take a look and share our map on your site!

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Thomas Frisbie published on January 15, 2013 12:21 PM.

Chicago River's 'open sewer' image going down the drain was the previous entry in this blog.

Is it time for Congress to clip drones' wings? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.