CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago City Council has approved a partial ban on plastic bags.
The vote Wednesday was 36-10. The ban exempts restaurants and small independent or non-franchise retailers. Stores larger than 10,000 square feet would have to comply by August 2015. Smaller stores would have until August 2016.
Fines are between $300 and $500 for each offense.
Aldermen who voted against the ban cited worries about jobs and attracting stores to locate in Chicago. But those who support the ban say the bags litter city streets and parks, and are bad for the environment.
The council’s Committee on Health and Environmental Protection unanimously approved the measure last week. At that time Alderman “Proco” Joe Moreno said plastic bags are “a relic of yesterday’s economy.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said he supports the ban.