Photo: Fraser retailers are well-stocked with reusable bags in preparation for the new Disposable Bag Fee Photo by Casey Malon
On Monday, Fraser residents and visitors will begin a new chapter in retail shopping when the town’s Disposable Bag Fee takes effect.
Single-use bags, whether paper or plastic, have proven to be environmentally unsound options for toting our purchases. Plastic bags are produced from non-renewable resources, are very difficult to recycle and contaminate recycling facility equipment. They do not biodegrade, so they remain as litter in the environment. While paper bags are recyclable, they take a very large amount of water and energy to produce. A Disposable Bag Fee helps mitigate these problems by charging a fee to consumers that use disposable bags and encourages the practice of using reusable bags.
Fraser Town Ordinance 458 was adopted by the Board of Trustees on October 3, 2018. As part of the town’s ongoing sustainability initiatives, the Ordinance is intended to offset the environmentally damaging effects of single-use plastic and paper bags. It will help to reduce landfill waste, greenhouse gas emissions, litter and hazards to wildlife, among numerous other benefits.
If you’ve ever visited a community that has enacted a bag fee, you’ve probably noticed how much cleaner it looks, evidence of a successful program.
Beginning April 1, all Fraser retailers will begin collecting $.20 for each disposable bag used by a consumer at check-out. The $.20 fee is not taxable. Customers that bring their own reusable bags will not be charged a fee.
Non-handled bags used for bulk items like fruits and vegetables, unwrapped prepared or baked goods, pharmacy bags and bags sold in packages are not subject to the fee.
Retailers will retain 40% of the fees collected to be used for things like consumer education, signage, administration, staff training, improving infrastructure to increase plastic bag recycling and other sustainability initiatives approved by the Town of Fraser.
The town’s portion of the fees collected will be utilized for the mitigation, educational, replacement and administrative efforts of the Town. The fees will also financially support town’s Pay-As-You-Throw trash and recycling facility known as The Drop.
Town Manager, Jeff Durbin, told the Winter Park Times that Town staff and board members will be on-hand at larger retail stores on April 1st and April 5th, to talk with customers and distribute town-logoed reusable bags.
To learn more about the Town of Fraser’s sustainability efforts, visit: frasercolorado.com.