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Denver OKs plastic bags fee ordinance

The idea is to attach a 10-cent fee per single-use plastic bag to encourage people to change their habits, Councilwoman Kendra Black has said.

DENVER — Denver City Council on Monday night gave final approval for the proposed plastic bag fee ordinance.

RELATED: Proposed fee on plastic, paper bags moves forward in Denver

A sponsor of the bag fee ordinance, Councilwoman Kendra Black, has said the idea is to attach a 10-cent fee per single-use plastic bag to encourage people to change their habits and start relying on reusable bags.  

"You'll go to a convenience store, get a packet of gum. They put it in a bag, then you walk outside and put the bag in the trash and get in the car. We overuse them," Black said.

The fee would apply to retail stores, including department, hardware and grocery stores. There would be exemptions for people using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Other exemptions would include produce bags and dry cleaning bags. 

The 10-cent fee would also apply to paper bags, the fee is expected to go into effect on July 1, 2020. 

RELATED: Next Question: How much money has Boulder collected from its plastic bag fee?

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Council documents show that 11 municipalities in Colorado already have restrictions on bag use. In the U.S. there are more than 400 similar laws.

Boulder saw a 70% drop in the number of people using plastic bags since it passed a similar ordinance in 2013. Seattle saw a 50% reduction, and California saw a 73% drop, according to a presentation attached to the city council agenda. 

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