Single Use Bag Fee
Last year, the State of Colorado mandated that most major retail businesses were required to charge a 10-cent bag fee for each single-use plastic and paper bag used at checkout.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, that law is entering its next phase, prohibiting stores and retail food establishments from providing single-use plastic bags.
On and after Jan. 1, 2024, a store may only furnish paper bags (for 10 cents) at the point of sale.
Certain retail food establishments, and small stores that operate solely in Colorado and have 3 or fewer locations, may provide single-use plastic bags.
Also beginning Jan. 1, 2024, retail food establishments in the State of Colorado are prohibited from distributing containers and cups made from polystyrene foam, commonly referred to as Styrofoam. Learn more about the polystyrene ban.
- 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
- What are the 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