Public Hearing Monday to Discuss Ban on Plastic Bags in Minneapolis

A public hearing is planned Monday to discuss a ban on plastic carryout bags in Minneapolis.

The meeting is at 1:30 p.m. in room 317 Minneapolis City Hall.

If a new ordinance to ban plastic bags is adopted in Minneapolis, retailers would be prohibited from offering plastic carryout bags to customers. Several exceptions include bags used by shoppers in a store to package bulk foods, meat and flowers, as well as dry cleaning bags and bags used for take-out food in instances of a public health risk if a bag is not provided.

Retailers would be allowed to provide paper bags or certified compostable plastic bags for a minimum 5 cent pass; low-income customers qualifying for food stamps would be provided paper bags at no charge.

The trade organization that represents the companies that make and recycle plastic bags and plastic film said the ban is unnecessary.

Plastic bags make of less than 1 percent of the waste stream, said Jonathan Perman, counsel for the American Progressive Bag Alliance.

"Getting rid of plastic bags is not going to change the waste stream in any way," Perman said. "We are not sure what the problem is. We are not exactly sure what they are trying to solve."

Perman said plastic film makes up more of the waste and his group is willing to talk about recycling that.

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