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Algonquin to work with 'Bring Your Own Bag' campaign

Published: Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014 4:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 12:02 a.m. CDT

ALGONQUIN – With encouragement from the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, the village is bringing the "Bring Your Own Bag" campaign to Algonquin stores.

Algonquin plans to encourage people to bring their own reusable bags to stores.

Officials are planning articles in village newsletters, allowing banners in select stores for a month, and having selected businesses with window cling signs on front doors.

The village in the spring plans to work with sponsors to design, purchase and distribute reusable bags to all residents. Algonquin’s role would be encouraging residents, but not mandating, them to participate.

“This would help Algonquin continue to be a green leader in the county,” said Senior Planner Katie Parkhurst.

The environmental defenders brought the issue to the Algonquin Village Board members in June, saying single-use plastic bags can be harmful to wildlife and the environment.

“The village would encourage businesses to participate by selling reusable bags, suggesting employees inquire if the customer needs a bag, displaying reusable bags in a prominent location, implement a charge for using plastic bags, rewarding patrons who bring their own bags, and posting the BYOBag window cling,” according to a village memo written by Parkhurst.

Village officials plan to waive permit requirements for banners at select grocery stores that participate in the program.

The Environmental Defenders’ BYOBag Committee plans to conduct surveys to see if the campaign led to increased use of reusable bags by residents.

“The purpose of doing this is to gather some feedback and statistics from consumers ... to see how well-received this is,” Trustee Brian Dianis said.

Village President John Schmitt said during a recent Committee of the Whole meeting he is happy Algonquin is taking on the project.

“This is a program that has been done in other areas of the country and has been done very successfully, and I think it’s fantastic that Algonquin is the first community in the area to take this on,” Schmitt said.

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