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Single-Use Bag Fee

Plastic and paper bag fees begin in 2023

Effective January 1, 2023 the State of Colorado has mandated that most major retail businesses are required to charge a 10 cent bag fee for each single-use plastic and paper bag used at checkout.

What businesses are included in the single-use bag fee?

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Major retailers
  • Major convenience stores
  • Clothing stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Other stores that are a franchise or a chain located outside of Colorado
  • Other major stores that include self-checkout and delivery services
  • Major liquor stores

Exemptions from single-use bag fee

  • Customers that provide evidence to the store that they are a participant in a federal or state food assistance program
  • Farmers markets
  • Laundry or dry cleaning services
  • Bulk stores
  • Smaller businesses with three or fewer locations
  • Pharmacies
  • Bags used by consumers inside the store for items like produce, bulk items, candy, small hardware items, meat, bakery or floral items
  • Restaurants are exempt from the single-use bag fee however they will be prohibited from distributing polystyrene foam containers beginning in 2024

Where will the bag fee money go?

  • Businesses retain 40% of the fee to cover the cost of administration and compliance
  • Arvada receives 60% of the fee to support recycling, waste diversion programs and related outreach and educational activities
  • The single-use bag fee is not a tax and cannot be used for non-related expenses so it does not violate TABOR

For more information on this mandate please reference the Colorado HB21-1162 or the Colorado Department of Revenue. For additional resources you can reference the business guide put together by Eco-cycle.