Chicago’s tax for paper, plastic bags starts Feb. 1

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Plastic grocery bag (MGN)

CHICAGO (AP) — Shoppers in Chicago will soon have to pay a checkout tax of 7 cents per bag at all retailers in the city unless they bring their own bags to stores.

The tax starts Wednesday, Feb. 1. The tax is the city’s latest attempt to cut down on the use of disposable bags, which are usually given for free at checkout and often end up in landfill, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The new tax replaces a ban on lightweight plastic bags, which city officials say wasn’t as effective as they had hoped.

It’s retailers’ decision to pass the tax along to the customer or absorb the cost themselves. Many stores, including Walgreens, Jewel-Osco, and CVS Pharmacy, have said shoppers will pay the bill.