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Heads Up Denver Shoppers, Bag Fee Takes Effect This Week

DENVER (CBS4) - Denver shoppers should expect to be charged for plastic or paper bags at the grocery or clothing store soon. The city's fee on disposable bags takes effect on Thursday, July 1.

The ordinance was passed in 2019, but implementation was delayed until this year.

For each disposable bag, identified as plastic, paper or other material including but not limited to compostable material, the shopper will be charged 10 cents. The ordinance applies to a variety of places including grocery stores, convenience stores, department stores, retail chain stores, hardware stores, liquor stores.

(credit: CBS)

Those who are on food assistance programs are not required to pay the fee. Businesses where retail is not the primary service, including farmer's markets and marijuana shops, will not be required to charge the fee.

The fee also does not apply to bulk items, produce or meat.

Four cents of the fee will go to the store while the rest will go to the city for "administering the Fee on Disposable Bags program, public information programs on reducing the use of disposable bags and other single use products, and providing free reusable bags to the community."

The city reminds residents the fee is not a tax and does not violate TABOR as none of the proceeds can be used for other non-related government expenses.

The city says shoppers in the Mile High City use more than 100 million disposable bags every year, and less than 5% are recycled.

Read more about Denver's bag fee and frequently asked questions.

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