Montrose, CO — A new state law aimed at curbing the use of single-use plastic bags and reducing the amount of plastic in Colorado landfills will begin a phased implementation in 2023. Beginning January 1, 2023, customers to Montrose area grocery stores will need to bring their own reusable bags or pay a 10-cent per bag fee for each paper or plastic bag used at checkout.
The fee is part of the recently passed Colorado House Bill 21-1162, known as the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act.
Between January 1, 2023, and January 1, 2024, a store may furnish a recycled paper carryout bag or a single-use plastic carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale if the customer pays a fee of 10 cents per bag. On and after January 1, 2024, all plastic bag usage will cease and stores may furnish only a recycled paper carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale for a 10-cent fee.
The law applies to restaurants, groceries, dry cleaners, or any other business that furnishes plastic carryout bags at checkout. Small stores are exempt. The small store exemption is defined as “a store that operates solely in Colorado, has three or fewer locations in the state, and is not part of a franchise, corporation, or partnership that has physical locations outside of Colorado.”
The carryout bag fee does not apply to participants in federal or state food assistance programs who provide evidence to the store that they are participants in such programs. The carryout bag fee also does not apply to materials used in the packaging of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, dietary supplements, or any equipment or materials used to manufacture pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, or dietary supplements.
Beginning April 1, 2024, and continuing on a quarterly basis thereafter, any store located within the Montrose city limits must remit 60% of carryout bag fee revenues to the City of Montrose and may retain the remaining 40% of the carryout bag fee revenues.
More information about the carryout bag fee can be found here.