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Minneapolis Shoppers Have Mixed Reaction To New 5-Cent Plastic Shopping Bag Fee

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- New Year's Day is the first day people have to pay to use bags at Minneapolis businesses.

The goal is to cut down on trash, and protect the environment.

Customers will be charged 5 cents per bag use, unless you bring your own. But not everyone started charging Wednesday.

"I was buying things that I knew it would take about four bags, and why pay 20 cents when I can bring my own," shopper Shelley Selstad said.

She has her trunk stocked for the future. Others walked out of stores without a bag, choosing to forgo paying for plastic or compromising.

"They asked how many bags did I want, and I said one, and then obviously I'm carrying because I didn't want to be charged an additional 5 cents," shopper Tom Miller said.

Some businesses say they're still figuring out how to implement the fee, so they haven't rolled it out yet. The city is giving stores a six-month grace period before they'll be fined for not abiding by the ordinance. But for stores that have already started it, it's listed on the receipt as "shopping bag fee."

"It's good to cut down on plastic. It's good for the environment, but it can get a little frustrating if you have to pay that much more any time you go shopping," shopper Joe Hill said. "I'm probably going to be using my pockets a lot more."

Others didn't hold back talking about the new ordinance.

"I think it's really stupid and really dumb," shopper Megan Bacigalupo said. "It's another form of sucking people into becoming some type of an activist for the environment and trying to control the masses."

The city of Minneapolis says requiring people to bring their own bag or pay the fee will reduce litter, waste and protect resources.

"It will encourage me to bring my bag that I have at home more often so I get what it's doing. I don't mind it," shopper Darneisha Jones said.

There are some exceptions to the new ordinance, like bags for produce, carryout restaurants and food banks.

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