Use of plastic bags is down in Boulder

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BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - Boulder officials say the use of plastic and paper bags has fallen 68 percent in the six months since the city enacted a 10-cent fee on disposable grocery bags.

Jamie Harkins, business sustainability specialist for the city, tells The Daily Camera the figure is based on a comparison of estimated bag use before the fee was implemented in July and the number of bags paid for by shoppers in the last six months. Officials had estimated bag use would decline about 50 percent.

The fee applies to all paper and plastic bags at grocery stores, convenience stores and big-box retailers. It doesn't apply to bags for in-store use with produce and meat, or to newspaper and pharmacy bags.

Retailers keep 4 cents to cover the cost of implementation, while the city keeps 6 cents.

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