Starting Jan. 1, a plastic bag will cost you 5 cents at Minneapolis stores

The city's plastic bag fee has gone into effect on New Year's Day.
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A carryout plastic or paper bag will now cost shoppers in Minneapolis 5 cents as of New Year's Day.

The city's "Bring Your Own Bag" ordinance passed by a 10-0 vote in the city council in November, and has gone into effect on Jan. 1.

It will mean that businesses are required to impose the 5 cent fee on plastic and paper bags carried out by customers, with the aim of encouraging more shoppers to bring their own bags.

In turn, this is intended to reduce plastic and paper waste, as well as litter.

There are some exemptions to the rule. Bags for produce, bulk foods, small items, restaurant carryouts, food banks, farmers' markets, and dry cleaning bags, for example, will carry no extra charge.

The same goes for bags given at hospitals, car dealerships and car washes.

The city of Minneapolis says that Minnesotans throw away 87,000 tons of plastic bags a year, recycling less than 5 percent of them.

Plastic bags meanwhile are known to clog the gears at recycling facilities.

Retailers who don't comply face a fine, though the city has said it will focus on education for the first six months, with no fines imposed.

You can find out more about the ordinance here.

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