Boulder passes 10-cent fee for disposable bags at stores

Chris Koury puts groceries in a paper bag for a customer while working the cash register at Alfalfa's Market on Broadway in May. Boulder is considering a 10-cent fee on all disposable grocery bags, paper or plastic. (Jeremy Papasso / Daily Camera file photo)

Chris Koury puts groceries in a paper bag for a customer while working the cash register at Alfalfa's Market on Broadway in May. Monday grocers will charge customers 10 cents for disposable bags. (Jeremy Papasso / Daily Camera file photo)

BOULDER, Colo. — The city council in Boulder approved an ordinance Thursday night that requires customers pay a fee if they want merchandise put in disposable bags at stores.

Food stores, convenience stores and Target will add a 10-cent fee for those bags.

The fee is meant to encourage shoppers to bring re-usable bags and help cut waste and environmental impacts of plastic bags.

“It doesn’t make sense to drill into the ground to get oil, which is a non-renewable resource, to create something we use once–a disposable bag, that ends up in a landfill and the ocean where it’s not biodegradable,” says council member Suzanne Jones.

The city estimates each resident uses on average, 342 disposable bags a year, and recycles between 20-24 percent of them.