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DENVER (KDVR) — Denver shoppers will have a choice beginning Thursday, bring your own bag or pay a 10-cent fee on single-use bags.

The ordinance applies to all single-use paper and plastic bags, but there are some exemptions. A few of those include bags used in stores to package things like fruits and vegetables, as well as bags used to protect items like eggs.

Denver’s Bring Your Own Bag Program has information for reusable bag giveaway events.

“We are excited to see Denver’s fee on plastic and paper bags take effect,” CoPIRG Advocate Allison Conwell said. “With millions of new single-use items pouring into our state every day, it’s crucial that we continue taking steps to reduce our dependence on these unnecessarily wasteful items. Nothing we use once, should pollute our planets for years to come.”

Reusable bag tips:  

  • Put bags in the trunk of your car, backpack or bike bag or near your front door
  • Place reusable bags under your keys
  • Wash them

The fee will be split between the city and the retailer. The city will receive 6 cents to be used for things such as administrative costs associated with the new fee and funding for programs focused on reducing waste and single-use products.

The remaining 4 cents will stay with the store to go toward providing educational materials as well as free reusable carryout bags for customers.

On the first day of the new rule, several local grocery shoppers weren’t expecting the extra fee.

“Today is the first day I went grocery shopping in two weeks so I did a big haul and I didn’t bring my owns bags thinking I wouldn’t need them,” said Anna Bryce shopping at Safeway. “I was in the checkout line when I was told they would charge me 10 cents a bag.”

Bryce paid for plastic bags this time, but will now stay diligent about making sure she brings them inside the store with her moving forward.

“I think it’s great, it will make sure I remember to bring my bags next time and not leave them in my car,” Bryce continued.

The majority of shoppers FOX31 spoke to were overwhelming supportive of the change, even if they forgot their own bag on Thursday. 

“I’m not opposed to it, I think that anything that helps us reduce our carbon footprint and avoid extra landfill garbage, I think that’s a great thing for our environment,” said Gwendolyn Mami, also shopping at Safeway.

One grocery store cart collector also mentioned to FOX31 he noticed more people with grocery items loose in their cart coming out of the store, choosing to not pay for a bag if they forgot one, putting the items directly into their car.