Girl Scout troop pushing to reduce plastic bags in Jefferson County

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – A group of Girl Scouts is trying to change the law in unincorporated Jefferson County to cut down on single-use plastic shopping bags.

The girls came up with the idea to reduce plastic bag consumption as a way to earn their Silver Award for the Girl Scouts.

“It’s been a problem that’s been going on in our environment for far too long,” 14-year-old Ella McIntyre said.

Target in Glendale estimates its customers go through about 20,000 plastic shopping bags a day.

“It’s just a normal part of our lives we don’t even think about it until we look at it and say oh my gosh, this is happening,” Girl Scout Amanda Bontempo said.

Because of the pollution from plastic bags, cities such as Boulder and Avon already have ordinances that require customers to pay a fee for using plastic bags.

Tuesday morning, Girl Scout Troop 2458 made a presentation about its idea in front of the Jefferson County commissioners. It suggested implementing a 10 cent fee per plastic bag.

“My first thought was … this isn’t possible for four teenage girls to go into a courthouse and say we want to get rid of plastic bags. They’ve been here for hundreds of years,” McIntyre said.

County leaders have asked the girls for more information about their initiative and will consider it in the coming weeks.

Under the proposal, consumers could avoid the bag fee by using paper bags or bringing their own reusable bags.

“We have like a million reusable bags from random stuff so we just threw a bunch of them in the back of our mom’s car and now whenever we’re like, oh let’s go to Target, let’s go get some groceries really quick, we bring them with us and it’s just a simple thing,” Girl Scout Mia Jordan said.

The girls say they understand if Jefferson County doesn’t adopt their idea. They say they will be happy if they inspire at least one person to ditch plastic bags for good.

“We’re just four teenage girls trying to make something happen,” Girl Scout Gianna Akins said.

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