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Evanston plastic bag ban goes into effect

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CBS News Chicago Live

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Paper or plastic? You won't hear that question anymore in north suburban Evanston, where a ban on plastic bags went into effect on Tuesday.

Businesses in Evanston are no longer allowed to give out single-use plastic shopping or produce bags. Groceries may still give out compostable plastic produce bags.

The ordinance also includes a 10-cent tax on remaining types of single-use bags, and requires single-use paper bags to be made of at least 40% recycled materials.

The bag tax does not apply to restaurants, bags provided by pharmacists for prescription drugs, newspaper bags, or bags used to carry items purchased by Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program participants or people with Illinois Link cards or other government food assistance programs, non-chain stores, or retailers with less than 10,000 square feet of space.

For businesses that do collect the bag tax, half of that fee will go back to the store, three cents will go to the Solid Waste Fund for education programs, and two cents will go to the Health and Human Services Department to cover enforcement costs.

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