Chicago exempt from prohibition on bag bans
By Henry Leineweber, Resource Recycling
When Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signs Senate Bill 3442 into law, the entire state will forego bag bans in favor of a statewide recycling program — with the notable exception of Chicago.
The bill requires bag and film manufacturers to develop a producer responsibility system for plastic bags, film and wrap, including providing universal access to collection resources and recycling. The producer responsibility law also bars any local jurisdiction — except Chicago — from enacting a ban on plastic bags, since the new recycling law would supersede local actions. The moratorium on bag bans at the local level proved to be a point of controversy in the bill, with many environmental organizations ironically fighting the recycling bill, and the plastics industry lobbying for its passage.
Senate Bill 3442 initially failed a vote in the state House of Representatives on May 24, prompting some question whether the bill had stalled. A super-majority of 71 was needed to pass the bill. A follow up vote on May 30 produced 72 votes in favor, however and SB 3442 was sent back to the Senate for concurrence. The bill is currently on the governor's desk and appears primed for passage.
The bill mandates a 12 percent recycling rate by 2015.