Plastic bag waste is a major environmental concern. Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used around the world every year, leading to tons of non-biodegradable waste ending up in landfills. Concerns about the eco impact of plastic bags has led several major cities across the U.S. to pass laws to discourage the use of disposable bags. On April 1, 2016, Minneapolis became the latest U.S. city to pass such a green law.
Passed by a vote of 10-3, the new Minneapolis city ordinance will require all retailers to stop using plastic bags with handles as of June 2017. Bags without handles like those used for dry cleaning, fresh flowers and produce will still be able to be used.
image source: http://wjon.com/minneapolis-council-votes-for-plastic-bag-ban-paper-bag-fee/
One concern about plastic bag bans is that they result in an increased use of paper bags, which contributes to deforestation. To address this problem, the Minneapolis bag ban includes a $.05 fee on paper bags for all customers except those who receive food stamps. Retailers that don't want to pass this fee along to customers have the option to pay $.05 for each bag given out to fund city cleanup programs. Many retailers will likely end up requiring people to purchase the bags in order to avoid incurring the expense.
If you live in Minneapolis or simply want to carry your groceries in a more eco friendly way, check out Chico Bags! Designed especially for carrying groceries, these bags are made from sustainable materials like cotton and hemp. Sold in a set of three, the Chico Bags roll up and fit into an apple carrying case to make them easy to bring with you on the go. You can check them out and buy a set here.
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