Denver grocery bag measure set to go into effect July 2020; customers will pay 10 cents per bag

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DENVER — This year likely marks the last Christmas holiday shoppers will be offered free single-use bags at Denver grocery stores, after city council members voted Monday to approve a measure requiring a 10-cent fee for paper and plastic bags.

Shoppers had some questions about the ordinance as they grabbed last-minute items Christmas Eve.

“Is it really going to help with cutting down on the use of plastics and recycling?” said Mandy Beavers, a Denver resident.

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.

The fee will be split between the city and the retailer. The city will receive $.06 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 $.04 will stay with the store to go toward providing educational materials as well as free reusable carryout bags for customers.

Some shoppers feel the charge is minimal, but others disagree.

“That’s insane. This amount of stuff would probably take 15 bags. That’s a lot of money for some people,” said Beavers.

“It will just make you think twice which ultimately I think that’s the purpose,” said Keith Friend, a Denver resident.

The ordinance still needs to receive Mayor Michael Hancock’s signature before it becomes law.

With the mayor’s approval, the ordinance will go into effect July 2020.

Rachel Skytta wrote this report.

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