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updated: 4/24/2014 5:18 PM

Chicago City Council committee OKs plastic bag ban

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Associated Press

A Chicago City Council committee has approved a ban on plastic bags at most retailers in the city.

The Committee on Health and Environmental Protection unanimously approved the measure on Thursday. The full Chicago City Council will take up the issue next week.

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The partial ban exempts restaurants and small independent or non-franchise retailers. Alderman "Proco" Joe Moreno called it a "historic day" and said plastic bags are "a relic of yesterday's economy."

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he supports the partial ban.

Stores larger than 10,000-square-feet would have to comply by August 2015. Smaller stores would have until August 2016.

Fines are between $300 and $500 for each offense.

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