PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia City Councilman wants to cut down on litter with a fee on disposable shopping bags.

Councilman Mark Squilla is proposing a bill that would charge shoppers five cents every time they use a disposable bag.

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He argues the tax is a compromise between retails who might not like the idea and environmentalists who are pushing for a plastic bag ban.

Three cents of the tax would go to the store owner, and two cents would go to the city.

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“People go to regular retail stores and they don’t really need a bag. As soon as they come out of the store, they just throw that bag right on the street, and it adds to the blight of the city,” Squilla says. “We believe this is a great opportunity to help start the process of de-littering the city.”

The nickel bag tax would apply to both paper and plastic bags.

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