MINNEAPOLIS — Back in 2016, the Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance that banned single-use plastic bags. But before it could take effect, the state legislature passed a bill that prohibited cities from such a ban.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon and City Council member Cam Gordon has brought the topic back up, proposing another alternative plan to help curb bag use. A plan he hopes will eventually become law statewide.
The difference in this plan is that it wouldn't be a bag 'ban'. Instead, he's proposing a bag 'fee' and it would go beyond just plastic. There would be a five cent fee on the sale of each plastic, paper, or compostable bag.
The fee would even be applied to reusable bags, but only when you buy that bag at the store, not when you bring it from home. As for the money the fee would bring in, the retailer would actually keep it. It wouldn't go to the city.
There would be some exemptions:
Residents on food assistance programs, such as W.I.C. or S.N.A.P. wouldn't have to pay the fee.
And there would be places that wouldn't charge the fee at all, including: farmer's markets, restaurants, food trucks, or dry cleaners.
The city is hoping that by putting a small fee on every bag, residents might pack their items more wisely and have less of these plastic pests ending up in the street and in our lakes.