Minneapolis plastic bag fee goes into effect Jan. 1

Minneapolis' plastic bag fee goes into effect January 1, 2020.

As we enter 2020, Minneapolis shoppers are reminded that plastic bags will soon come with a fee.

Starting Jan. 1, retail establishments will be required to charge a fee of at least 5 cents for plastic carryout bags. The ordinance comes as the city tries to reduce litter and trash, as well as recycling issues related to plastic bags.

Officials report that Minnesotans throw away 87,000 tons of plastic bags every year and recycle less than 5 percent of them. Additionally, plastic bags often clog the gears in recycling facilities, which workers spend several hours removing.

According to a release, 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.