CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gave his first Budget Address on Wednesday, February 19 where he laid out the basis for his plan to bring the state out of it’s economic woes, including a $3.2 billion deficit and $15 billion dollars in debts.
However, his speech did not include all the new things he wants to tax, like plastic bags for shoppers.
In the Illinois budget book for 2020, there is a proposal to tax consumers 5 cents for every plastic bag they choose to use. If enacted, the administration estimates it could generate $19 to $23 million dollars in new state revenue.
According to the EPA, Americans use around 380 billion plastic bags every year.
To get a feel of how citizens down in the southern part of the state feel about this idea, Heartland News asked shoppers leaving the Carbondale Kroger how they felt about it.
Dwayne Roof doesn’t want to see this happen.
“Now you’re making people remember to bring bags with them and that’s just a whole shift,” he said.
Whereas people like Marty Crothers doesn’t have a problem with it, because she barely uses plastic bags already.
“Well I don’t want plastic to continue going in the landfills where they don’t disappear forever," she said. “Or the oceans where they don’t disappear forever.”
Some people do care about the environmental effect this tax would have, but also don’t like the idea of removing the convenience factor from shopping with plastic bags. One of those people is Jeremy Collins.
“If I can avoid it yes (using plastic bags),” he said, “but you know, it’s a convenience thing. It’s a lot easier to grab your bags and go.”
However, this proposed legislation comes at a time when businesses, big and local, are trying to faze out plastic bag usage.
According to the manager at the Carbondale Kroger, the company is working to stop using them over the next couple of years.
Aldi already charges customers for plastic bags.
Arnold’s Market in Carbondale only uses paper which recycles easier.
The Co Op in Carbondale even gives you the option to not use a bag and the business will donate the money they would have spent buying them to charity.