Paper or Paper? Minneapolis Plastic Bag Ban About to Take Effect

Enforcement will not begin until next year according to Council Member Cam Gordon.

MINNEAPOLIS – A new city ordinance going into effect June 1 in Minneapolis will begin a ban on a variety of types of plastic bags.

The measure was first proposed by Minneapolis City Council Member and Green Party Minnesota founder Cam Gordon, and passed last April, reported WCCO. In an effort to reduce litter and waste in the city, plastic bags will be banned entirely, and shoppers will be charged five cents for each paper bag they use.

“Subway has come up with paper alternative they’ve been using in all their stores already, so I think people are making the change,” Gordon told KARE 11.

Gordon also told KARE 11 that people on government assistance will not have to pay the five-cent fee for paper bags.

Now there are just a few weeks left until the ban goes into place, and businesses are still trying to prepare for the change. Gordon has stressed that while the ordinance goes into effect this year, the city is unlikely to enforce it until 2018, in order to give businesses some additional time to adjust.

“We’re not going to go out with a heavy hand at first at all. We’re going to go out with technical assistance, inform people about the law, talk about how soon that they can get to be compliant,” Gordon told WCCO.

Target will be implementing the five-cent fee shortly, and also offers customers a five-cent discount for each reusable bag they use while shopping, reports KARE 11.

Gordon is also worried that the ban may never go into effect due to actions by the state legislature. Both the Senate and the House have passed a bill which would limit municipalities ability to impose regulations on businesses.

The ordinance comes with exceptions reports KARE 11. These include bags for take-out food, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, and bags for some grocery items.

Anders Koskinen