- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (AP) - A Twin Cities suburb is on the verge of becoming the first city in Minnesota to completely ban plastic bags, as well as joining others that have banned polystyrene food containers.

A majority of City Council members in St. Louis Park are supporting the ban. But they still will gather input from residents before voting on it, according to council member Anne Mavity.

“Over the summer we’ll have a public conversation with our residents about the pluses and minuses, their concerns and desires,” Mavity said. “And then in the fall, we’ll take all that information and make some policy decisions on what to do, which would undoubtedly include a transition time.”

Council member Tim Brausen said he hopes the community will become a leader on the environmental issue. Leaders must look at what’s healthy and sustainable, not what’s cheapest and easiest, Brausen told the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1H0CK7r ).

Many cities in California have similar bag bans. But a statewide ban there has faced fierce opposition from the bag industry and a vote has been pushed ahead to November 2016.

Although the City Council in St. Louis Park is considering the input of local business owners before making a final decision, some have already voiced their support of the ban.

“I feel totally good about it,” said Vitaly Koval, owner of Vitali’s Bistro. “As an observant Jew, (I believe) everyone should be responsible not only for themselves, but for the future, the kids, the people around you.”

His coffee shop and cafe uses paper takeout containers and biodegradable plastic bags, but he said he’s on board with completely doing away with plastic bags.

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Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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