A few weeks ago, we reported that some Colorado legislators were working to get a plastic grocery bag tax on the November ballot. Here’s the update!
Nope. No cigar. No way, Jose. That was the answer to plastic bag bill HB18-1054, which Colorado’s House Local Government Committee considered on January 31. The measure was killed in an overwhelming vote before it even got out of the committee.
If it had been successful — and passed by both legislators and Colorado voters — the bill would have meant that all across Colorado, shoppers would have had to pay 25 cents per transaction to use disposable plastic shopping bags at the grocery store. The money from the tax would have gone toward funding affordable housing for low-income residents.
With the use of plastic shopping bags having long been the subject of nationwide debate, opinions on the subject vary widely, with many areas handling the issue differently.
California and Hawaii have completely outlawed plastic grocery bags, as have Colorado towns Vail and Telluride. Boulder, Avon, Breckenridge, and Aspen each charge a fee per bag, but when Dallas, Texas, implemented a five-cent tax on plastic bags, they ended up rescinding it only five months later due to a lawsuit from plastic bag manufacturers.
The Plastics Industry Association opposed the bill in Colorado, too.
“The idea of punishing consumers would be missing the mark on sustainability,” Matt Seaholm, the executive director of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, said, according to Colorado Public Radio. He explained that plastic bags are also often reused (I know they are in my house!) and don’t take up that much space in landfills.
So in Colorado, plastic bags will live for yet another day. But we want to know what you think! Are you happy with the committee’s defeat of the proposed bill? Do you use paper, plastic, or reusable? Tell us in the comments below!