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Plastic bags are very difficult to recycle (they should not be put in recycling carts or recycling dumpsters) and cause damage to recycling facility equipment. They are the number one source of contamination to our recycling collection in Northbrook, and recycling that is contaminated with bags are sent to landfills instead of sorted. Plastic bags take up space in landfills, litter our community, block storm drains, and endanger wildlife. Paper bags can be recycled, but they need a very large amount of water and energy to produce.
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The Northbrook Village Board of Trustees adopted the tax on single-use bags to reduce environmental impacts and cost to the Village caused by single-use bags. Numerous studies have shown that a mandatory tax on single-use bags significantly reduces the number used.
The tax is ten cents ($0.10) per single-use bag (plastic, paper, or other material including but not limited to compostable material) provided at the checkout.
All retail stores within Northbrook whose square footage is 3,000 feet or greater must charge the tax. Examples of these types of stores include, but are not limited to: convenience stores, department stores, retail chain stores, hardware stores, and grocery stores.
Restaurants, beauty salons, auto mechanics, and dry cleaners are not required to charge the bag tax. Stores whose square footage is less than 3,000 feet are not required to charge the bag tax. Sales at seasonal events, including farmers markets or yard sales, are also not required to charge the tax.
The tax is not subject to sales tax. Retailers should NOT be applying the sales tax rate to the single-use bag tax that is charged.
Yes. Retail stores required to collect the bag tax must display a sign viewable to customers inside or outside the store, alerting them to the bag tax. Stores may either use the Village-provided sign, or create their own. Minimum requirements for signage will include a statement that by local ordinance, the store is required to charge a 10¢ tax on each single-use bag provided at checkout.
For each ten-cent tax, five cents are to be retained by the business and five cents will go to the Village. The single-use bag fees submitted to the Village of Northbrook will be used to fund sustainability projects as reviewed and approved by the Village Board. At the start of the program rollout, the Village will supply free reusable bags for distribution at applicable businesses.