Boulder Considers Charging Fees For Grocery Bags

Proposal Is Alternative To Banning Bags

Boulder leaders are considering a proposal that would require customers to pay for paper or plastic grocery bags.

The Daily Camera reports the city council will take up the issue at its meeting Tuesday night as part of Boulder's Zero Waste Master Plan.

Jamie Harkins, a business sustainability specialist with the city, said officials considered several recommendations, including an outright ban, before settling on pursuing fees. But not everyone is happy with the proposal.

Mary Lou Chapman, president of the Rocky Mountain Food Industry Association, which represents grocery stores in Colorado and Wyoming, compared the fees to taxes, and said many consumers would see the policy as something the store was putting into place, not city government.

There were 781 tons of plastic retail bags in the county's waste stream in 2010, according to a Boulder County waste composition study cited in The Daily Camera's article. That same report showed that plastic retail bags only accounted for 0.4 percent of the county's entire waste stream.

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