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City Could Target the Way We Tote

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America disposes of tens of billions of plastic grocery sacks each year. Some Chicago aldermen want to stem the tide, and they may force Chicago stores to help out. Chicago Public Radio’s Shawn Allee reports.

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Paper or plastic?

It’s a refrain that grates on the nerves of some Chicago alderman.

Alderman Edward Burke wants hearings this year on a proposal to ban the plastic side of the equation.

Burke: I don’t know that people think about these plastic bags will never degrade in landfills, that they become so ubiquitous that they represent a real nuisance.

Burke’s proposal would fine stores that give out plastic grocery bags for free.

Shoppers would bring their own reusable bags or stores could issue paper sacks.

Environmental experts point out that plastic bags generally require less water and energy to produce than paper, though plastic bags are less likely to get recycled.

I’m Shawn Allee.

Chicago Public Radio.

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