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Fort Collins Gets Serious About Charging For Grocery Bags

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado’s fourth-largest city is considering charging shoppers for disposable grocery bags.

Fort Collins is proposing that at check-out shoppers who want to load their groceries up in either a disposable paper or plastic bag would be charged a 10-cent fee per bag by the store. But they can still get plastic produce bags for free as they would be exempt from the rule.

The new fee would only apply to grocery stores.

Some people have already decided to steer clear of plastic grocery bags, considering them environmentally unfriendly.

“I’m pretty much 100 percent opposed to using plastic grocery bags,” Deirdre Sullivan of Fort Collins said.

Some city officials argue the bags pile up in landfills and create litter along roads. On Tuesday evening councilmembers must decide whether they want to try to reduce plastic bag use by requiring grocers levy a fee on customers who use them.

“It’s not a bad idea, but it’s just that people forget those bags all the time, so it’s something that would be kind of a pain,” Colin Roberts of Fort Collins said, referring to cloth bags shoppers bring from home.

Most of the people CBS4 found outside a King Soopers store on College Avenue said reuseable bags are the right way to go, but not necessarily the most convenient.

In its first year the fee could generate up to $1.6 million. Half would be used to supply customers with free reusable bags.

Whatever the council decides they’ll have to take a second and final vote in the next few weeks. If passed, the ordinance would take effect in January of 2015.

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