Beginning Aug. 1, large retailers in the City will no longer provide free, point-of-sale disposable plastic shopping bags to customers making purchases at their stores. Last summer, City Council passed an ordinance banning these bags in an effort to discourage and decrease their use.

The ordinance covers stores larger
than 10,000 square feet that are part of a chain or franchise. Stores that will be affected include Aldi, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Cost Plus World Market, CVS, Food 4 Less, Gordon Food Service, The Home Depot, Jewel-Osco, Marshalls, Office Depot, OfficeMax, PetSmart, Target, Valli Produce, Walgreens and Whole Foods.

Any bag made predominantly of plastic and less than 2.25 millimeters thick that is not certified commercially compostable will not be given to customers at the point of sale. Dine-in and take-out restaurants as well as non-chain stores are exempt.  Stores may still provide paper bags at check-out. Heavier duty retail plastic bags, as well as plastic bags used to package products in-store, such as produce, meat and other grocery items, are also allowed. Additionally, the ordinance does not prohibit customers from using bags of any type brought to the store for their own use.

To help community members and businesses make the transition, the City has launched a “Think Outside the Bag” campaign. The campaign will include reusable shopping bag giveaways at Evanston locations throughout the summer, as well as a new “Share a Bag” program.

Under the Share-A-Bag program, individuals and community organizations can drop off or pick up reusable shopping bags at all the Library branches, the Morton Civic Center and the Chandler-Newberger, Fleetwood-Jourdain, Gibbs-Morrison, Robert Crown, Levy, and Noyes Cultural Arts centers.