In Steamboat Springs, 3.8 million single-use plastic bags are used yearly by shoppers at the markets included in the plastic bag ban. Many of these bags end up as litter in our rivers, forests and rural landscapes.
The State of Colorado enacted a single-use carryout bag ban and fee as part of House Bill 21-1162 that required the city to reconcile its Plastic Bag Ban and Paper Bag Fee adopted several years earlier through Ordinance No. 2699.
The fee applies to both paper and plastic single-use carryout bags at all stores in Steamboat Springs, including grocery stores, small stores, restaurants, Farmers Markets, Roadside Market or Stand, Festival, and other temporary vendors or an event that includes temporary vendors.
Stores must begin charging the fee on January 1, 2023. On a quarterly basis, starting April 20, 2023, stores and retail food establishments must remit the total amount of carryout bag fees collected in the previous quarter to the city. Large markets that have been collecting a bag fee will continue to collect and remit as they have been through the end of 2022 before switching to the new system.
Until June 1, 2024, a store may provide a plastic carryout bag for the 20-cent fee. After that date, stores will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. Retail food establishments that offer take out may continue to use plastic bags for a 20-cent fee.