What you need to know about Colorado’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act
Key Points About the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act
The State of Colorado’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act was passed in 2021 to reduce and mitigate plastic pollution in Colorado. If local ordinances call for higher fees or taxes for checkout bags, the fees will be consistent with the higher amount.
Required by Colorado Law HB21-1162, the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act (PPRA):
- Starting January 1, 2023, large retail stores in Colorado will be required to charge 10 cents on plastic and paper bags.
- Effective January 1, 2023, all Town of Vail retailers are required to charge a 25 cent bag fee for each single-use plastic and paper bag used at checkout.
WHOW IS EXEMPT FROM THE FEES?
- Consumers are able to skip the fee by bringing their own reusable bags!
- The fee is waived for customers who are enrolled in state or federal food assistance programs.
WHY IS COLORADO IMPLEMENTING A FEE ON PLASTIC AND PAPER CHECKOUT BAGS?
- It is estimated that a person living in the US uses 365 plastic bags per year.
- Plastic and paper checkout bag fees can help encourage behavior change that results in over 70% fewer bags used per year.
- Plastic bags are one of the most common pollutantsin Colorado rivers, pollute landscapes, and can be lethal to birds, fish, and cattle that mistake plastics as food.
- Plastic bags are one of the biggest contaminants in local recycling systems, threatening worker safety and causing damage to machines.
WHERE WILL THE BAG FEE MONEY GO?
- The fees collected from the use of plastic and paper checkout bags can generate tens of thousands—or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to a municipality annually.
- These funds can then be used to support programs that address waste, litter, illegal dumping, recycling, composting, or waste diversion programs and related outreach and education activities.
- Funds also can be used to purchase reusable bags that can be distributed in the community for free.
Bag fees have been successfully adopted in many Colorado cities, including:
- City of Boulder
- City of Steamboat Springs
- City of Aspen
HOW DOES MY BUSINESS DOCUMENT AND PAY THE BAG FEE?
- Businesses should utilize their POS system to document the number of carryout bags disbursed and fee collected each month.
- The fee will be remitted on the 20th day of the following month as a separate item on the sales tax return at munirevs.com.
- Businesses will populate the number of bags disbursed during the month and the fee will auto-calculate. The fee is not taxable.
- For more information on this mandate please reference the Colorado HB21-1162or the Colorado Department of Revenue.
For additional information visit:
- Implementing the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act – A step-by-step guide for municipalities, including resources to share with businesses and your community
- Town of Vail – Kick the Habit
- pdf (colorado.gov)