Feb 27, 2017
Paper or Plastic?By Abby Kleckler

On Feb. 1 shopping in my hometown of Chicago changed a bit. I guess I hadn’t been paying close attention to the news because when I stepped foot in the grocery store, I was surprised by a new 7-cent tax on both paper and plastic bags.

Not only did the fee catch me off guard but also the return of the thin plastic bags at the register. You see, Chicago had banned plastic bags in an effort to get them out of landfills, but many retailers had replaced them with thicker-gauge plastic bags that were exempt from the ban.

It appears that since people weren’t reusing these, the 7-cent tax is the city’s Plan B. The city gets 5 cents, and the retailer keeps 2 cents.

We’ll see if this motivates me to bring bags to the store on every, single trip. I’m normally pretty good when it comes to grocery shopping, but I must say I laughed a little bit when I was asked at Marshall’s if I needed a bag for clothes that clearly weren’t going to fit in my small purse.

As retailers, what do you think? Do you have any similar taxes or bans in your area? How do you encourage customers to reuse and recycle — even when it’s not government mandated? Let me know at [email protected].

Spring Trials

In one month, I will be headed out to California with the rest of the Lawn & Garden Retailer and GPN teams for the 2017 Spring Trials, which will take place April 1-6.

We’ll be keeping you up to speed on all the fun retail-ready ideas from the trip as well as all the new plant introductions that could become a part of your lineup in 2018.

Are you making the trip too? If so, check out the 2017 California Spring Trials Companion from GPN.


Abby Kleckler

Abby is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected]


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