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CHICAGO - Walgreens and Dominick's stores here are now packing customers' items in blue shopping bags that can be used to recycle materials, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
City officials requested the change in their effort to boost recycling by making it cheaper and easier to get blue bags that are later separated from regular trash at sorting facilities, according to Streets and Sanitation department spokesman Matt Smith.
The city wants other retailers to "follow the lead of Dominick's and Walgreens" and start providing the blue bags in checkout lanes, Smith added.
The free bags are the same size as the standard plastic shopping bags available at grocery stores' checkouts, but are smaller than the usual 30-gallon blue bags that can still be bought at stores.
Shoppers can still choose to have their purchases placed in beige shopping bags. Officials asked residents not to use the blue bags for trash.
Dominick's started distributing the bags Friday at its Roosevelt Road store and will soon have them in all of its Chicago locations.