The city is named from the aspen trees which proliferate the area. Photo credit: Doug Dolde[/learn_more] For almost three years now, the City Council of Aspen, Colorado, USA has been considering, studying, and discussing a possible plastic bag ban for the city.
It started in 2008 with CORE (Community Office for Resource Efficiency) completing a study regarding the consumption of single-use shopping bags. Known as the Disposable Bag Report, the study was presented to the Aspen City Council in February, 2009.
In January of 2011, City Council decided to coordinate their efforts with other towns located throughout the region known as Roaring Fork Valley. Through their collaboration with neighboring towns, they would create a uniform ordinance regulating single-use bags which would be standard throughout the region. In this way, there would be less confusion with citizens and visitors alike, no matter which town they shopped.
At Aspen's City Council meeting on August 22, 2011, the first reading of an ordinance was passed by a margin of 4-1. The ordinance would impose a fee of twenty cents per bag, paper or plastic, if a shopper needed a bag to transport purchases.
The second reading of the ordinance occurred on Sept. 12, 2011 and was expected to be passed. However, at that meeting, several council members voiced their desire for a full ban instead of a fee. Council decided to continue the hearing on October 11, 2011 and staff would present more facts pertaining to a ban.
Trying to put forth a concerted effort, the towns of Carbondale and Basalt were awaiting Aspen's decision before they moved forward to adopt their proposed ordinance. However, PBBR just learned, through news reports, that Basalt didn't wait on Aspen. Last night, Sept. 27th, the Basalt Town Council passed their fee ordinance. Starting in May of 2012, a fee of twenty cents will be charged at grocery stores for each paper or plastic bag requested by a customer.
Only time will tell what Aspen decides to do.