Quick update on yesterday’s post: A few weeks ago Illinois Retail Merchants Association president Dave Vite was skeptical about any kind of prohibition on plastic shopping bags. But now he says retailers are interested in going greener and the alderman behind the bag effort, the 39th Ward’s Margaret Laurino, has listened to retailers’ concerns. Her latest plan to make grocery stores and pharmacies recycle the bags would provide a few extra months to certain retailers who need to start collection programs from scratch. “Based on the meetings we’ve had, I think we’re on track to come up with a bill we can live with,” Vite says.

Environmentalists would prefer to see a substantial tax put on the bags, and even Laurino says her ordinance is just a first step. Vite isn’t so wild about that kind of talk. 

“Clearly, anyone who wants to ban plastic [bags] or charge another tax would be more interested in seeing people’s grocery prices go up than we are,” he says. “Everybody wants everything, but nobody wants to pay anything. Well, we’re not going to try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.”