Fort Collins Enacts Disposable Bag Fee

Fort Collins Enacts Disposable Bag Fee

Fort Collins, Colorado, Aug. 20, 2014 (PBBR) - The Fort Collins City Council on Tuesday night approved a disposable bag ordinance that requires retailers across the community to charge customers a minimum 5-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags.

As part of the efforts to contribute to the community’s goals for waste reduction and reuse, Council expanded the ordinance from grocers to include all retailers as part of the 5-2 vote Tuesday.

Details of the final ordinance, also available at, include:

  • The charge for disposable bags will apply to all retailers except for farmers’ markets, temporary vendors of food products, restaurants and garage sales.
  • Newspaper sleeve bags are not included in the ordinance.
  • Retailers will keep all proceeds from the bag fee; there are no requirements for how retailers spend the money.
  • All customers who receive a disposable bag must pay for it; however, retailers must inform customers and get their consent before they provide a disposable bag. The minimum charge for bags is five cents.

Retailers may continue to offer rebates to shoppers who bring their own bags. The ordinance goes into effect April 1, 2015.
As part of the new ordinance, the City will work to find alternatives to using disposable bags in City operations and create a public awareness campaign to educate retailers and shoppers.
The ordinance is expected to help the community achieve waste reduction and reuse and to foster new habits for shoppers to use durable, reusable bags as part of the community’s commitment to zero-waste.

The program also will divert trash from landfills, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce life-cycle impacts of single-use bags and reduce stray litter and pollution in the community and in the natural environment. The City Council in December 2013 adopted new waste reduction goals to assist the City with its Road to Zero Waste by 2030.

Fort Collins is just north of Denver, Colorado with a population of 148,612 according to Fort Collins is the county seat of Larimer County.


Cover photo: Courtesy Ted Duboise. Image and Design Copyright © 2014 Ted Duboise. All Rights Reserved.

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