Aspen, Colo., bans plastic bags, puts fee on paper bags
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Oct. 12 — Come this spring, customers shopping at the two grocery stores in Aspen, Colo., will not be offered a plastic bag.

The Aspen City Council voted Oct. 11 to ban the bags and place a 20-cent fee on paper bags, the Aspen Daily News reported.

The new law, which takes effect May 1, has been at least two years in the making.

In August, the Aspen City Council passed the “Waste Reduction Fee Ordinance” on first reading, setting the stage for the final vote after a public hearing.

City environmental officials estimate it will cost $ 37,640 to implement the ban and fee program, the newspaper said, and an additional $ 5,520 in staff time.

The paper bag fees are expected to generate between $ 33,000 and $ 170,000 in revenue, the newspaper reported, depending on the number of people purchasing them.

City Market and Clark´s Market, Aspen´s two grocery stores, will keep up to $ 1,000 a month to cover the costs of implementing the program, the newspaper said. Net revenue to the city will be between $ 25,000 and $ 145,000, the newspaper said, with the money to be used to purchase and give away reusable bags and create an educational campaign.

The city´s plastic bag ban is part of a regional effort — the Basalt, Colo., Town Council last month passed a 20-cent fee on paper and plastic bags, which also will go into effect May 1. Other neighboring cities also are considering a ban or fee.

Contact Waste & Recycling News reporter Shawn Wright at [email protected] or 313-446-0346.

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