Nov. 22, 2019 (MINNEAPOLIS) The Minneapolis City Council has passed an ordinance requiring retail establishments to charge a fee of at least 5 cents for carryout bags. The retail establishments will keep the fees. The requirement will go into effect Jan. 1.
The goals of this requirement are to:
- Encourage shoppers to bring their own bags.
- Protect resources used to produce paper and plastic bags.
- Reduce litter.
- Reduce waste: Minnesotans throw away 87,000 tons of plastic bags every year and recycle less than 5% of them.
- Keep plastic bags from clogging the gears in recycling facilities, which workers spend four-six hours a day removing.
“Preventing the spread of plastics in our water and environment is not just an issue for Minneapolis but for our entire planet,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “In this case, thinking globally begins locally.”
“This small, simple step, which has already been taken by many cities, states and countries throughout the world, can have a big impact on reducing litter, improving air quality and addressing the problem of plastic pollution across the globe,” said the ordinance’s author, Council Member Cam Gordon. “I hope that Duluth, other cities and the state will follow our lead and enact similar laws soon.”
Exemptions include bags used for produce, bulk foods, small items, carryout restaurants, farmers markets, food banks, retail establishments that do not possess a cash register; secondhand bags, bags sold in packages, dry cleaning bags, bags given out with no transaction; bags given at hospitals, car dealerships and car washes; and bags used for litter cleanup.
People can call 311 about retailers who aren’t complying with the ordinance after Jan. 1.
This ordinance came through extensive outreach with businesses and business groups.
The City will do extensive outreach with businesses and work on educating with no fines for the first six months.
Find more information on the ordinance here.
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