Duluth Single-Use Bag Fee Vote Tabled

The Duluth City Council has tabled an ordinance that would put a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags. The Duluth City Council has tabled an ordinance that would put a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Baihly Warfield
Updated: October 14, 2019 09:10 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - A vote on a proposed 5-cent fee for plastic and paper bags has been tabled. 


Several city councilors expressed questions about how the fee would or would not be taxed, what the exemptions are and how the transaction is processed. 

Councilor Zack Filipovich's motion to table it passed 8-1 with Councilor Jay Fosle opposed. A Committee of the Whole meeting dedicated to answering questions around the bag fee proposal is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 24. 

"There is an exemption for carryout bags, and my question is around whether that would apply to groceries. And if not, would groceries delivered from bags outside of the City of Duluth to City of Duluth residents be subject to it or vice versa?" Councilor Arik Forsman asked. "I see that being a potential issue facing a potential legal challenge."

"An awful lot of people, by the time they're done doing their shopping that day, they may have 10 bags in the cart," Councilor Barb Russ said. "It all really can add up for a lot of people. I'm very concerned about that issue."

However, a couple people who support the Bag It Duluth group's push for the fee said it would make a big impact.

"At this time, the single-use bags are free. We are mindlessly consuming them, not realizing the impact they have on our environment throughout the bag's whole lifespan," April Hepokoski said. "Charging for this product helps us think twice." 

The council could vote on the ordinance at its Oct. 28 meeting. 

Related Stories: 

Duluth Council to Consider 5-Cent Fee on Plastic Bags

Duluth City Councilor Introduces Plastic, Paper Bag Fee Resolution


Baihly Warfield

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