VINELAND, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Officials in Vineland say people have been abandoning shopping carts on sidewalks and the side of the road.
Now, they're ready to do something to stop it.
"Due to complaints from citizens complaining they're all over the place, and it just makes the town look messy," said City Councilman Paul Spinelli.
If a new city ordinance passes next week, people and stores could face fines.
Since New Jersey's bag ban went into effect in May of last year, city officials say the problem has gotten worse. People have started using the carts to transport their groceries home instead of the bags they used to get at the store.
The city council proposed an ordinance that would fine a person, or the store, $50 for abandoning carts.
"When we find one, we call the ShopRite because they're supposed to have their name and number on them. And tell them to pick it up," said Spinelli.
If the store doesn't pick it up within a designated timeframe, it could face the fine.
Some fear the ordinance would target people who are already struggling.
"It does look bad when you're driving by, but I also realize that you know, with people not having any bags and bags cost so much money now, those who travel on public transportation? They have to have a way to get their goods from one place to the next," said Lauren Mitchell.
But Spinelli said the intent of the ordinance is to hold stores accountable.
He pointed to Aldi's method of requiring a quarter to access a cart, then getting your quarter back when you return it.
"Just trying to get the corporations to do something on their part to try to keep them in," said Spinelli.
Action News checked in with a few stores in the area, and they either said they didn't have a problem with stolen carts or said they weren't aware of the new proposal and didn't want to comment.
A vote on this ordinance is scheduled for Tuesday evening.