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Minneapolis City Council Approves Plastic Bag Ban

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minneapolis City Council has passed an ordinance that will change the way businesses bag customer purchases.

The ordinance bans the use of plastic bags and charges a fee for paper bags.

City councilors Cam Gordon and Abdi Warsame first proposed the ordinance to reduce litter and waste in the city.

After debating the issue more than an hour and raising more questions than answers, it seemed as though the council would postpone its decision. But eventually the ordinance eventually passed Friday morning.

Plastic bags used to pack customer's purchases at checkout will be banned in Minneapolis, and paper bags will also have restrictions. The paper would have to be made of recyclable material and customers who choose paper bags would be charged at least a 5-cent fee.

On the flip side, shoppers who take their own reusable bags to the grocery store would get at least a 10-cent credit.

The Minneapolis City Council says plastic bags used for fast food, dry cleaning and newspapers would be a few of the exceptions under the ordinance.

The ordinance is set to go into effect in April 2017, though that could change. Several city departments have been asked to research ways to implement and enforce the plastic bag ban.

Councilwoman Barbara Johnson voted against the ordinance. She said ultimately it will raise the cost of groceries in Minneapolis and force people to shop elsewhere.

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