Denver, CO

Denver retail stores to begin charging 10 cents per disposable bag to help the environment

Steven Bonifazi

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By Steven Bonifazi

(DENVER, Colo.) Retail stores in the Mile High City will begin charging a 10 cent fee for every disposable bag given at checkout on July 1 as part of Denver's Bring Your Own Bag program.

The program is designed to encourage Coloradans to help lessen human impact on the environment by reducing the number of disposable carryout bags used, littered and left in landfills, according to the program's website. Paper, plastic and additional materials including compostable material will all acquire the 10 cent fee.

The likeness of contracting COVID-19 from bags and packaging surfaces is very low, the CDC reports. Fortunately, the majority of Coloradans have received the vaccine, with 3,185,424 Coloradans having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, according to state virus data.

A portion of the bag fee will be used by local retail stores for the costs associated with putting the program in place as well as by the city itself to address the impacts that disposable bags and single-use products have on the community.

The bag fee was originally brought up during a Denver City Council committee meeting in December of 2019.

Many of Denver's partnering organizations are holding reusable bag giveaways throughout the city to provide Denverites a chance to avoid the new fee.

The following is a list of organizations, dates, times and locations of where to pick up a free reusable bag:

  • Levit Pavilion, 1380 W Florida Ave, Denver, 80223 - June 24, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Vaccine Clinic at Abraham Lincoln High School, 2285 S Federal Blvd., Denver 80219 - June 26, 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • FAVA's "Heal the Hood Celebration" and Drive-Thru Resource Fair, 5300 Crown Blvd, Denver 80239 - June 26, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • South by Southeast Community Festival, 6802 E Yale Ave., Denver 80224 - Aug. 21, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Nevertheless, the bag fee will not be applied to bags that are utilized for holding and packaging bulk items, produce, meat or fish. Those individuals who are currently participating in both state and federal Food Assistance Programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will not be subject to the fee.

For more information regarding the Bring Your Own Bag program, click here.

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