Why is disposable bag use a concern in Denver?
More than 100 million disposable bags are used annually in Denver, but less than five percent (5%) are recycled. Plastic bags are produced from non-renewable resources which are are very difficult to recycle (they cannot go in the city’s purple recycle carts), and cause damage to recycling facility equipment. Plastic bags litter our community, block storm drains, and endanger wildlife. Paper bags can be recycled, but they need a very large amount of water and energy to produce.
What is the reason for the bag fee?
The Denver City Council adopted the Fee on Disposable Bags to reduce environmental impacts and cost to the city caused by disposable bags. A mandatory fee on disposable bags has been shown to significantly reduce the number of disposable bags used in other communities.
When did the Fee on Disposable Bags take effect?
The Fee on Disposable Bags took effect on July 1, 2021.
How much is the fee?
The fee is ten cents ($0.10) per disposable bag (plastic, paper, or other material including but not limited to compostable material) provided at the checkout.
What stores are required to collect the bag fee?
All retail stores within Denver that sell personal consumer goods, household items, or groceries must charge the fee. Examples of the types of stores include, but are not limited to: convenience stores, department stores, retail chain stores, hardware stores, liquor stores, and grocery stores.
Which stores are not required to collect the bag fee?
Restaurants, beauty salons, auto mechanics, and other businesses where retail sales are not the primary business activity are not required to charge the bag fee. Temporary vendors or events such as farmer’s markets are also exempt, as are marijuana dispensaries which use paper bags of a size smaller than those covered by this ordinance.
Are signs about the bag fee required to be on display in stores?
Yes. Retail stores required to collect the bag fee must display a sign viewable to customers, alerting them to the bag fee.
Where can I find more information on the bag fee?
You can get more information on the Bring Your Own Bag Program by emailing your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.