New bag tax goes into effect Wednesday

Chicago City Council passes plastic bag ban

CHICAGO — Bring your own bags or prepare to pay more to shop in Chicago this week.

Starting on Wednesday, shoppers will be charged an extra 7 cents for every bag the stores give them. That includes paper AND plastic bags.

It’s part of the city’s effort to reduce the number of disposable bags, which often end up in landfills.

To help shoppers out, the city will hand out up to 25,000 free, reusable “Chi Bags” outside seven CTA stations on Wednesday evening. The stations haven’t been announced yet.

Some retailers are also helping out by giving away reusable bags:

  • Jewel-Osco: On Saturday, January 28, the first 100 customers at any of the 35 Jewel Osco stores will receive one free, reusable bag.
  • Mariano’s: On Saturday, January 28, all Mariano’s city stores will distribute a free bag coupons to the first 100 customers at each store, coupled with a second coupon to purchase an additional bag for 1/2 price, for that day only.
  • Target: On Wednesday, February 1, Target will be giving away a free reusable bag to the first 200 guests at each of its 16 locations.
  • Whole Foods: On Wednesday, February 1, the first 1,000 customers at each of Whole Foods’ 12 Chicago locations will receive a free, reusable bag.