Telluride, Colorado, USA, eliminates disposable plastic bags on March 1st. Well known as a ski resort, Telluride is also home to most of the people who created the movie "Bag It".(1) "Bag It", the multi-award winning film about plastic bags, which will be airing on National Public Television starting April 18th, was filmed in and around Telluride.
The Town Council heard and approved the ordinance on October 5th, 2010. The ordinance set the 'stop distribution' date as March 1st, 2011. The town-wide prohibition declares that "disposable plastic bags shall not be sold or distributed, retail or wholesale, within town limits by any business".
Citing many reasons for passing the ordinance, the Town Council stated that disposable plastic bags:
~ create a burden on the town's solid waste disposal system
~ have a significant impact on the local environment
~ create unsightly litter on sidewalks, streets, and waterways
~ clog sewers and drainage systems
They also stated that currently there is no viable option for recycling of disposable plastic shopping bags.
Strongly supporting reusable bags, the town believes that residents and visitors should use reusable carryout bags in all instances when shopping in Telluride.
The ordinance also established a 10 cents fee on paper bags if a customer needs one. The retailer will keep five cents and remit the other five cents to the Town Waste Reduction and Reusable Carryout Bag Program. The ten cents fee is a manifestation and testament to what economist call "user pays".
The ordinance also establish penalties for violation of the ordinance. It is interesting to note that a business can receive only one violation penalty per week. Most ordinances sets a fine per day that the business is in violation of the plastic bag regulation.
Read the full text of the Town of Telluride's Disposable Plastic Bag Ordinance.
Source: (1) Bag It Movie website