One of the themes covered in several entries of the Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage is the vast proliferation of plastic wastes generated over the past half century, and the toll these wastes have had on ecosystems throughout the world. Plastic bags, which jam sorting machinery at recycling facilities, choke aquatic life, and clog sewer systems, impose particular difficulties on modern societies and other species.
Ordinances to impose fees or outright ban single-use plastic shopping bags have proliferated across the United States over the past five years. The City of Chicago has no such ordinance, yet the idea of one is being discussed amongst aldermen. On June 18 at 10am, City Hall will host a hearing on a Chicago Checkout Bag Ordinance, and the public is invited to attend. The group Bring Your Bag Chicago is coordinating attendance and circulating petitions, and you may learn more about their efforts on their Facebook page, or from this short video:.