Plastic and paper bag fees begin in 2023
Effective January 1, 2023 the State of Colorado has mandated that most major retail businesses are required to charge a 10 cent bag fee for each single-use plastic and paper bag used at checkout.
What businesses are included in the single-use bag fee?
- Grocery stores and supermarkets
- Major retailers
- Major convenience stores
- Clothing stores
- Hardware stores
- Other stores that are a franchise or a chain located outside of Colorado
- Other major stores that include self-checkout and delivery services
- Major liquor stores
Exemptions from single-use bag fee
- Customers that provide evidence to the store that they are a participant in a federal or state food assistance program
- Farmers markets
- Laundry or dry cleaning services
- Bulk stores
- Smaller businesses with three or fewer locations
- Bags used by consumers inside the store for items like produce, bulk items, candy, small hardware items, meat, bakery or floral items
- Restaurants are exempt from the single-use bag fee however they will be prohibited from distributing polystyrene foam containers beginning in 2024
Where will the bag fee money go?
- Businesses retain 40% of the fee to cover the cost of administration and compliance
- Arvada receives 60% of the fee to support recycling, waste diversion programs and related outreach and educational activities
- The single-use bag fee is not a tax and cannot be used for non-related expenses so it does not violate TABOR
For more information on this mandate please reference the Colorado HB21-1162 or the Colorado Department of Revenue. For additional resources you can reference the business guide put together by Eco-cycle.