Bag it Duluth
or the Love of Place!

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With our many growing seasons under our belt, Growing Farms is making long range plans.  

Modeled after similar farm incubator, social enterprise organizations such as Intervale, DCF is looking for volunteers and donations. If you have time, energy and/or wisdom that you'd like to share, please contact us!

Reusable Carry-out Bag and Environmentally Preferable  Food To-go Container Model Legislation Proposal

Our proposal to promote reusable bags, is modeled after legislation from more than 40 countries and 160 cities and states across the nation, will continue to  help shift consumer behavior, promote reuse and put our values into practice. And, it would also help level the playing field for business and allow them to recover costs.

As outlined below, our proposed ordinance  would incentivize reusable carry-out bags and environmentally preferable to-go food containers within the City of Duluth. Click here for a downloadable (pdf) format.


To encourage Duluth residents to bring reusable bags when they shop, we propose a  minimum pass through charge of no less than five cents for single-use paper and plastic carry-out bags, that will be retained by the retailer.

Carry-Out Bag Pass Through Charge

  • Retail establishments shall collect a pass-through charge of not less than five (5) cents for each carryout bag, provided to customers.

  •  It shall be a violation for any retail establishment to pay or otherwise reimburse a customer for any portion of the pass-through charge.

  • All retail establishments shall indicate on the customer transaction receipt the number of carryout bags, provided and the total amount of the pass-through charge.


  • Bags without handles used by customers to package bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, bakery goods, greeting cards, jewelry, or small hardware items, such as nails and bolts, or to contain or wrap flowers;

  • Bags used in dine-in or carry-out restaurants, food vending trucks, or temporary event food vendors to safeguard public health and safety during the transportation away from the restaurant;

  • Bags distributed at retail establishments which do not possess or utilize a point of sale system;

  • Bags used by organizations which receive them second hand and re-use them for distribution;

  • Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste;

  • Bags distributed at farmers’ markets;

  • Laundry dry-cleaning bags; or

  • Bags given where there is no transaction taking place such as:

    a. Food banks and other food assistance programs;

    b. Personal belonging bags at hospitals, hotels or dental offices;

    c. Newspaper bags and door-hanger bags;

    d. Bags given at car dealerships or car washes to be intended to collect garbage inside a vehicle; or

    e. Litter clean up bags.

  • Anyone with a voucher or electronic benefits card issued under the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) support programs, or the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as Basic Food), or a recognized Minnesota food assistance program.


Expanded Polystyrene Food Containers

To encourage the use of more sustainable food and beverage containers, Polystyrene foam food or beverage containers shall not be used to package or serve food or beverages by restaurants and/or retail food establishments within the City of Duluth.


  • This ordinance shall not apply to the packaging of uncooked meat, uncooked poultry, and/or uncooked fish.

Duluth Area Business Examples
: UMD Stores, The Whole Foods Coop (no plastic bags or Styrofoam), Chester Creek Café, Aldi's (charge for carryout bags), Duluth Grill, Tavern on the Hill, Old Chicago, Olive Garden, Pizza Luce.

Other Jurisdictions:
Over 160 US cities have enacted single-use bag bans and/or minimum charges including Minneapolis, Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Dallas, TX; Austin, TX; Cambridge, MA; Santa Fe, NM; Boulder, CO; Washington, DC; Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland, CA.  The whole state of Hawaii and California have phased-out single use plastic bags.

Over 75 cities have enacted polystyrene phase-outs including New York City ; Takoma Park, MD; Seattle, Washington;Washington DC; Miami Beach, FL;Portland, Maine; Nantucket (City & County), Massachusetts; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon ; Los Angeles County and San Francisco, CA
Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Problem we are trying to solve?

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