Friday, August 16, 2013

Denver Considers Plastic Bag Fee and Meets Resistance

Plastic bag caught in a tree.
Photo Courtesy of Kate Ter Haar
On Tuesday, Denver city councilwoman, Debbie Ortega, proposed a plan to charge a 5-cent plastic bag fee. Her goal to shift behavior toward more sustainable practices met firm resistance from the grocery store industry.

The grocery store industry claims that the fee would put an undue cost burden on Denver stores. A few went on to argue that the fee was essentially a tax and should be places on the ballot per Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).

Every year, an estimated 130 million single-use bags are used within Denver. Households use on average of 7.6 bags per week, most of which end up littering the streets, or adding to landfill waste or worse, clogging waterways. To read more statistics about plastic bag consumption, visit Ortega's draft bill here.

The council committee will discuss the proposal next week and determine whether or not it should be presented to the whole council for vote. Boulder and Aspen have already implemented plastic bag fees and have not seen any harmful side effects.

Angelica Oman
Graduate Program Assistant

No comments:

Post a Comment