10¢ fee on disposable bags begins in Boulder Monday

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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)

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BOULDER, Colo. — Beginning Monday disposable plastic and paper bags in Boulder will cost consumers 10 cents each.

The fee was passed by the city council in November last year.

It includes food stores, convenience stores and Target.The fee will not apply to bags used inside stores for produce, bulk food, meat or fish. It also does not apply to pharmacy prescriptions.

City leaders hope the fee will encourage consumers to use reusable bags.

“Boulder uses about 33 million disposable checkout bags each year, and 60 to 70 percent of these come from grocery stores,” said Jamie Harkins, City of Boulder business sustainability specialist, in a statement. “This fee arose from community concerns about the negative environmental and economic impacts of disposable bags in Boulder. It’s about protecting our community and its resources by encouraging people to reuse.”

Of the 10 cents collected for each bag, 4 cents will go to retailers to defray their costs related to implementing the regulation. The remaining 6 cents will be remitted to the city for use on efforts that lessen the negative impacts of disposable bags in the Boulder community, said city spokeswoman Sarah Huntley.

The city bought and distributed at no cost 40,000 reusable bags for residents in June. Reusable bags will also be handed out at local supermarkets all day Monday.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, the city projects it will make $216,000 from the bag fee this year and $325,000 next year.

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