Colorado legislature approves measure to ban styrofoam, add fee to single use products
Colorado lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill that would ban the use of styrofoam and tax single-use plastics in most cases, sending the bill to the desk of Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, The Colorado Sun reports.
House Bill 1162 will generally prohibit the use of single-use plastic bags, except in certain situations when each bag will cost the consumer a minimum of 10 cents. Businesses allowed to continue using such products include restaurants that prepare or serve food in individual portions or stores that have just three or fewer locations in Colorado.
Once the ban goes into effect, businesses are permitted to use their remaining stock for a few months without penalty.
Businesses may keep 40 percent of proceeds from the bag tax, and are required to relinquish the other 60 percent to the municipality or county they’re located in.
The bill also bans styrofoam products from being used as containers for ready-to-eat food. Certain exceptions apply, including styrofoam used in the packaging of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices and dietary supplements.
Businesses that violate the new terms, which are set to begin in 2022, are subject to fines of $500 for a second violation or $1,000 for a third or subsequent violation.
Customers who can prove they participated in a state-assisted food program are exempt from the bag tax.
Denver had previously passed its own bag tax, which was delayed due to coronavirus concerns.
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