DENVER (KDVR) — Stores, restaurants and businesses across Colorado started charging a 10-cent fee for plastic bags on January 1.

The fee was implemented after lawmakers passed the measure last year in an effort to reduce some of the plastic pollution in the state.

What happens if a business doesn’t charge the fee?

According to the legislation, if a store or retail food establishment does not charge the bag fee, a fine of up to $500 can be charged for the second violation and up to a $1,000 fine can be charged for the third or any subsequent violations.

The legislation also said that a local government cannot enforce a violation that is committed by a retail food establishment if it is located within a school.

There will be a complete plastic bag ban starting on Jan. 1, 2024, meaning stores will only be allowed to furnish recycled paper bags. However, retailers will be allowed to continue using the plastic bags in their inventory through June 1, 2024.

What bags are exempt from the fee?

There are some items that are exempt from the bag fee. Those items are packaging used for pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices or dietary supplements, as well as any equipment or materials used to manufacture pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, or dietary supplements.

Shoppers who receive state or federal food assistance are exempt from bag fees.