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Colorado Springs plastic bag fee proposal up for discussion

plastic bag Cropped

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) —  Are you willing to pay a small fee for plastic bags while shopping in Colorado Springs to help support environmental programs in the city?

Colorado Springs City Councilor Yolanda Avila is asking for the public’s opinion on a potential ballot measure she hopes will go before voters on Nov. 3. 

The measure would charge shoppers 10 cents per single-use plastic bag. There would not be a charge for paper bags. It's expected to raise $1.2 million if implemented.

Proceeds would be split between stores and the city, with 40% of the money made from the fee staying in stores. The other 60% would go to the city of Colorado Springs to be used for cleanup efforts and environmental education programs.

There are some exceptions inside the proposal. Shoppers who use state or federal food assistance programs would not have to pay the fee. Certain single-use plastic bags would still be allowed, like for produce, newspapers, or small jewelry items.

Some grocery chains in the U.S. have discouraged people from shopping with reusable bags since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing concern over germs.

“We are going to have this start in July 2021," Avila said. "It’ll be a whole year from now, things will look much different, and for the most part, COVID should be on its way out.”

The large majority of callers on Wednesday night's virtual town hall call agreed there is an urgent need for this measure. However, a few brought up concerns about government overreach and financial burden during the pandemic.

The proposal will go before city council again on Aug. 11. If you didn't have a chance to voice your opinion at the virtual town hall, you're encouraged to do so on the 11th.

Local News / News / Video

Lauren Barnas



  1. A solution in search of a problem. Look around. Do you see a lot of empty plastic bags lying around? No you don’t. If you love Denver/Boulder nonsense so much you should move up there and relish the bag tax.

  2. How is charging a dime for every SINGLE use plastic bag going to keep the plastic out of the landfill? It won’t. All those Single use bags will still end up in the landfill! This is just a scam for the stores to get more money from us the customers. If you are going to make me pay a dime for ever SINGLE Use Plastic bag it better be a deposit that I can get back when I return the bags back to the store. That is the only way to keep them off the ground, out of the water and out of the landfill. Better yet, go back to paper bags made from recycled paper. Or make the plastic bags so they dissolve, into something that’s non-toxic, when they get wet. Or just make the bags reusable by putting a ten cent DEPOSIT on them and get rid of this idea that “single use anything is the easy way to do thing’s”!
    Charging people a dime for every SINGLE USE plastic bag used to get their stuff home is NOT GOING TO KEEP THOSE PLASTIC BAGS FROM GOING IN THE TRASH AND INTO THE LANDFILL!
    Its bad enough that grocery stores have made it so that I have to check myself out, now they want to sell me worthless plastic bags that can only be used once to get my stuff home. This is 🐂💩!

  3. I’ll just save my boxes and bags and re-use them.
    Back in the early ’90s in SATX, Albertson’s had a giant barrel for plastic bag recycling.
    When the store closed, they dragged that around back and threw it in the dumpster.

  4. SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!?!? Wont put the rec pot measure on the ballot ( like a bunch of nazi communist pigs) but wants to charge us for plastic sacks for our groceries?!?!?!?!? what the living heck is going on here????

  5. How about eliminate a step and just ban plastic bags altogether? Help the environment directly. Bring a box or canvas bag to the store. Problem solved.

  6. I saw a person try to use their own bags in King Soopers and they were told that during COVID, the baggers could not touch or bag groceries if using personal bags. When I heard that, I stopped bringing in my personal bags and just used the store bags. How convenient for the City of Colorado Springs to mandate a ‘fee’ for using store bags during the pandemic!

  7. Do away with them. We only have one planet to live on currently, and we are wrecking it like every house party in a John Hughes movie.
    Don’t charge for them; simply don’t offer plastic bags as an option anymore. Show your corporation(s) also cares about the world and its inhabitants.
    Supply and demand, you stop offering them and go back to paper, problem solved. These corporations can also try earning loyalty to their environmentally conscious shoppers that bring in their own bags. Since your corporation is saving money by not having to use their bags when a person brings in their own reusable bags, give them a %0.05 discount per bag used.
    So what if the baggers won’t touch your bags during a pandemic, this is common sense. Bag your own groceries, stop expecting to be waited on hand and foot, the baggers have families too and they don’t want to bring COVID home to their families and you should be respectful of their families lives too.

  8. Actually plastic bags are a bi product of refining gasoline. If you do not want them quit buying gas. Before plastic bags the material was dumped in the ocean. What is worse? Plastic bags make up a tiny portion of what goes into the landfills.

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