Duluth’s Plastic Bag Fee Begins Oct. 15

DULUTH, Minn. – After more than a year of delays, the city of Duluth is about to start its plastic bag fee.

The 5-cent fee will take effect Oct. 15 for places like grocery stores and retailers.

The fee per bag will be added on to the total bill at an establishment.

The fee will not be required for the following:

– Any bag without handles used exclusively to carry produce, meats, other food items or merchandise to the point of sale inside a store or to prevent such items from coming into direct contact with other purchase items

– Bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription drugs

– Bags used to transport take-out foods and prepared liquids intended for consumption away from the retail establishment

–  Newspaper bags, door-hanger bags, laundry-dry cleaning bags, bags used to protect fine art paper or bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste, or yard waste bags; or bags made out of paper

The city’s public information officer, Kate Van Daele, released the following statement in a press release Wednesday.

“The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce litter and the harmful environmental impact caused by single use carryout bags by imposing a five – cent pass through fee on carryout bags. The City Council found that single use carryout bags pollute city waterways and sewers, endanger wildlife, contributing to climate change, and cause unsightly litter. Given that plastic single use carryout bags can last for years in landfills and potentially result in harmful chemical pollution, the Council determined that it would be in the best interest of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens and visitors of Duluth to reduce the distribution of single use carryout bags and incentivize the use of reusable bags in the city.”

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