BRECKENRRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Another Colorado town is looking into charging a fee for paper or plastic bags, but this time it’s reaching beyond the grocery stores and wants to include every single business.
Breckenridge says it’s been looking into a bag ban or fee for a few years.
“Reducing or eliminating the use of plastic bags, single-use plastic bags, was a big topic, along with economic liability, being good to our environment, etc,” Breckenridge Mayor Dr. John Warner said.
Heavy support for a plastic bag ban led the town council to find the fairest option – a fee for both plastic and paper at every store in the entire town.
“The fees seem to get to our mission, which is to reduce the use of disposable bags without eliminating them. People will still have a choice. It’ll cost them a dime to choose to have that plastic bag or that paper bag, but they’ll have that route,” Warner said.
The mayor says feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, but CBS4 didn’t find that from stores even though they’ll get about half the fee back.
“We’re having a really hard time with it because we deal with a lot of tourists and tourists don’t want to have to buy reusable bags,” Gina Shirley said.
Shirley runs Cabin Fever and started asking customers shortly after she heard of the proposed ban.
“Very few customers were willing to pay extra for a bag to take the merchandise home,” she said. “They have expectations. Just like when you get a receipt, you don’t pay for the paper the receipt comes on. There are certain things you get. All of that is part of the customer service.”
The proposed fee will go through two votes in front of the town council over the next few weeks. If passed, it will take effect in October so businesses have time to adjust before ski season.