Evanston is shifting towards imposing a 10-cent tax on all procuring baggage as a part of its broader effort to extend sustainability after the Financial Growth Committee accredited a proposal in late Might.
The brand new tax is a departure from town’s 2014 ban of single-use plastic baggage and applies to all plastic, paper and compostable baggage. In keeping with Evanston’s Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator Cara Pratt, many companies circumvented the earlier ban by utilizing thicker plastic baggage and classifying them as multi-use.
“With bans of particular supplies, the result’s usually several types of baggage that aren’t essentially higher for the atmosphere,” Pratt mentioned. “As an alternative of nudging individuals away from single-use baggage, we need to encourage extra reusable baggage altogether.”
Town and the enterprise would cut up the income from the brand new tax. Town’s half will go towards the Strong Waste Fund and different waste-related initiatives, based on a Might 25 memo to the EDC.
Pratt and Mayor Daniel Biss met with leaders of the Residents’ Local weather Foyer Evanston North Shore Chapter in early June to debate the tax. Erik Doeff, the chapter’s co-leader, mentioned he helps the tax, because it places a value on supplies which can be dangerous to the atmosphere.
“The bag subject is nice to begin with as a result of it’s so tangible,” Doeff mentioned. “You don’t should retrofit your total home, you simply have to alter your habits round the way you bundle your groceries.”
The tax proposal comes amongst a push by each metropolis authorities and Evanston residents to ramp up efforts to revive local weather stability. Updating the bag ban is a part of town’s objective to realize zero waste by 2050, outlined within the Local weather Motion and Resilience Plan.
Metropolis Council handed a decision declaring a climate emergency in Evanston on April 25.
Evanston’s Atmosphere Board will work with Pratt to make sure the tax meets town’s environmental targets. Cherie LeBlanc Fisher, the board’s co-chair, mentioned the tax will make shoppers notice utilizing store-provided baggage is just not the one alternative.
“If somebody has to pay 10 cents at a retailer to get a plastic bag, that will make them suppose, ‘You recognize, it is a ache within the neck, possibly I’ll simply deliver my very own bag subsequent time,’” she mentioned.
Chicago imposed a 7-cent tax on all paper and plastic procuring baggage in 2017. A University of Chicago study discovered the tax led to a 28% lower in the usage of disposable baggage inside a yr.
Pratt’s staff, which incorporates Coverage Coordinator Alison Leipsiger and Strong Waste Coordinator Brian Zimmerman, hope to listen to from enterprise house owners and residents in conferences with town’s enterprise districts and presumably internet hosting city corridor conferences.
Pratt mentioned she hopes to get the proposal to Metropolis Council for closing approval by the autumn.
“We expect that as a group we’re in a position to transfer ahead and make this extra aggressive,” Pratt mentioned. “There’s sufficient ethos in Evanston round our waste discount targets that we are able to make this occur.”
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