Denver City Council Votes In Favor Of Plastic Bag Fee

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver City Council voted in favor Monday on a proposed plastic bag fee. The ordinance charges shoppers 10 cents for each plastic or paper bag used at retail stores.

(credit: AP)

The proposal aims to encourage people to bring their own reusable bags and reduce the amount of plastic used in stores. The Denver City Council unanimously passed the ordinance on the first reading earlier this month.

“We shouldn’t use all this plastic. It’s going to go in the landfill, and it’s going to stay there for a while. Charging 10 cents does seem a little high, though. It’s an inconvenience to us and it’s costly, but its better in the long run,” said Kathleen, a shopper who prefers reusable bags.

People in Denver use up to 250 million bags per year and only up to 5% are recycled. The rest end up in the waste system.

Plastic bags (credit: CBS)

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Under the proposal, The store will keep $.04 of the fee and the city will receive $.06 of the fee which will be used for education, enforcement, waste reduction efforts and free reusable bag giveaways.

The City of Boulder is considering a ban on disposable grocery bags. (credit: CBS)

“I didn’t buy one of the things I wanted today because it wasn’t on sale. Something like 10 cents could actually go a long way. Hopefully this will keep people from using as many bags as we have been,” said Steven Seguin, shopper.

The Denver City Council unanimously passed the ordinance on the first reading earlier this month. Several cities in Colorado have similar ordinances, including Boulder and Breckenridge.

(credit: CBS)

The fee is expected to go into effect on July 1, 2020 at all of Denver’s retail stores including grocers, hardware, convenience, drug and department stores. The fee will not apply to restaurants.