Colorado to ban all plastic bags from January 1st
January 1st will mark a significant shift in Colorado’s environmental landscape with the implementation of several new laws aimed at reducing single-use plastics and polystyrene. Among these, House Bill 21-1162 has garnered considerable attention for its multifaceted impact on the retail and food service industries.
A cornerstone of the legislation is the statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at retail stores. This policy, however, does not extend to restaurants, acknowledging the potential concerns regarding food safety and hygiene protocols.
Recognizing the potential logistical challenges restaurants may face, the law allows them to utilize existing Styrofoam inventory purchased before January 1st, 2024. Once depleted, however, transitioning to alternative packaging materials becomes mandatory. Failure to comply can result in escalating fines, with $500 for a second violation and up to $1,000 for a third.
It’s important to note that House Bill 21-1162 did not alter the previously implemented statewide bag fee, which took effect on January 1st, 2023. This policy applies to all retail stores except restaurants, with the intention of encouraging reusable bag usage and discouraging single-use plastic consumption.
Advocates for the legislation cite the undeniable environmental damage caused by single-use plastics and polystyrene as key drivers for these changes. However, proponents of the restaurant exemption highlight the importance of ensuring food safety, arguing that plastic bags play a crucial role in complying with hygiene standards.