Just a month after Portland banned plastic shopping bags from grocery stores and retailers with pharmacies, Aspen, Colo., is moving closer to charging a 20-cent fee on all single-use grocery bags – both paper and plastic.
Yesterday the Aspen City Council passed the Waste Reduction Fee Ordinance by a 4-1 vote on first reading, according to the Aspen Daily News. The next step for the ordinance is a public hearing on Sept. 12, when the council will have the opportunity to adopt the ordinance.
The ordinance would place a 20-cent fee on single-use paper and plastic bags distributed at the two grocery stores within city limits to motivate residents to use their own reusable shopping bags and reduce the city’s environmental footprint. Grocery store produce bags and bags from other retail stores and restaurants would be exempt from the proposed legislation.
Revenue generated from the new fee could be used to fund the city’s waste reduction programs, cover set-up costs incurred by grocery stores and provide reusable bags to locals and tourists, according to the city’s staff report.
The nearby towns of Basalt and Carbondale are also considering similar ordinances, the newspaper reported.