Durango, CO: The City of Durango has created a webpage to inform businesses and customers about the details of Colorado’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act : www.durangogov.org/bags, set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Colorado’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act (House Bill 21-1162) requires certain retail stores to charge a $0.10 fee on all single-use carryout bags, both paper and plastic.
The purpose of the law is to reduce Coloradan’s reliance on disposable bags, which can be a common form of litter and contribute to excess plastic and paper consumption. The city is working with community stakeholders to create programs that will provide free reusable bags to residents and visitors.
Revenue gained through the fee will be used to fund these programs and other waste reduction efforts in Durango.
The bag fee requirements only affect retail stores where either of the following apply:
- The store has more than three (3) retail locations
- The store is part of a franchise, corporation, or partnership that has physical store locations outside of Colorado
All food service and restaurant establishments are all exempt from the law, no matter how many locations they have or their ownership structure. However, grocery stores and convenience stores are not included in this exemption, so they will be impacted if they have more than three stores or are part of a chain with locations outside of Colorado. The fee does not apply to customers that can provide evidence they are on a federal or state food assistance programs.
City staff will be delivering notification letters and signage to affected businesses, and staff is working with the Business Improvement District and Chamber of Commerce to clarify options for local, independent businesses in Durango. Local and independently owned stores that are not impacted by the law are still encouraged to join in on reducing Durango’s reliance on single-use carryout bags. Options for these stores include only offering bags if the customer requests one, offering discounts for people that bring their own bag (or other reusable items), self-imposing a bag fee, or simply choosing to no longer offer single-use carryout bags at their store.
The law also requires that all carryout paper bags be made of 100% recycled material. Starting January 1, 2024, the next phase of law takes effect, and plastic bags will no longer be allowed in affected retail stores. Additionally, polystyrene food containers will be banned from use in all stores, no exceptions.
Phone: (970) 375-5061
Email: Marty.Pool @DurangoGov.org