Duluth Council Tables Vote on Five Cent Bag Ordinance

Councilors site unanswered questions in reason to table.

DULUTH, Minn.- The proposed fee on plastic and paper bags in the City of Duluth has been postponed, as the City Council voted to table the ordinance to allow further discussion.

The ordinance would apply to all retail establishments, excluding bags used to transport take-out food, bags from pharmacists and bags for produce and meats.

Retailers would keep the five cents per bag to offset the cost of providing bags.

The coordinator of Bag It Duluth, the campaign strongest for the ordinance, said they would like to hear the councilors’ concerns.

“A little disappointed because we don’t know what the specific concerns some of the councilors might have,” Jamie Harvie said. “And so this is not a surprise the materials have been provided to councilors–but if they need more time to discuss I guess let them have that.”

At the meeting some councilors voiced their concerns about the wording and exemptions in the ordinance.

Councilor-at-Large Arik Forsman said there are too many unanswered questions.

“If I own a chain of businesses do I get charged at each one separately or do they add together for cumulative purposes for finance?” Councilor Forsman said.

“And then just a couple of other things I don’t think folks are super aware of: the fact that paper is included in this, there is a question about signage and whether it should be clearly posted that I think could use some definition.”

The council voted 8-1 to table, with Councilor Jay Fosle opposed.

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