July 1, 2013 means new disposable bag fees go into effect today in Boulder.
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What does this mean to you?
All disposable plastic and paper checkout bags at grocery stores in Boulder will cost 10 cents each. The bag fee does not apply to bags used inside stores for items such as produce, bulk food, or meat and fish, and does not apply to pharmacy prescriptions or newspapers.
“Boulder uses about 33 million disposable checkout bags each year, and 60 to 70 percent of these come from grocery stores,” said Jamie Harkins, City of Boulder business sustainability specialist. “This fee arose from community concerns about the negative environmental and economic impacts of disposable bags in Boulder. It’s about protecting our community and its resources by encouraging people to reuse.”
Where does the money go?
Of the .10 cents collected for each bag, 4 cents will go to retailers to defray their costs related to implementing the regulation. The remaining 6 cents will be remitted to the city for use on efforts that lessen the negative impacts of disposable bags in the Boulder community.
A portion of the future proceeds from the fee has already been used to purchase and distribute approximately 40,000 reusable bags to Boulder residents during the month of June. The city has worked to distribute bags to all populations at no cost, with an emphasis on mitigating the impact of the fee on low-income populations. In addition to partnering with numerous local organizations such as Eco-Cycle, Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA), Boulder Housing Partners, Downtown Boulder Inc., and Boulder County Community Services, the city canvassed door-to-door at more than 1,000 households, and conducted bag giveaways at grocery stores, city recreation centers, libraries, and the Farmers’ Market.