History of the Bag Fee

In October of 2011, Aspen City Council adopted Municipal Code 13.24 – Waste Reduction prohibiting the distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags at the two grocery stores in the City of Aspen -- City Market and Clarks Market. The legislation implemented a $0.20 fee on all paper bags utilized by customers.  

In 2021, the Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 21-1162 Plastic Pollution Reduction Act (PPRA) to manage the distribution of single-use materials such as plastic and polystyrene in the state.  

While the PPRA requires all applicable stores in Colorado to charge a $0.10 fee on all single-use, carryout bags, the City of Aspen’s ordinance increases the PPRA’s $0.10 per bag fee to align with the existing code, raising the fee to $0.20 per bag. Retailers will remit $0.16 per bag to the City.  

The revenue collected from the single-use bag fees are transferred to the City monthly and are allocated to a Waste Reduction Fee fund only to be used for specialized waste reduction projects. This revenue supports projects including the annual purchasing of reusable bags for free distribution around the city and hosting the free electronic waste collection event for individuals to recycle their electronics.

Click here to read Ordinance 06 of 2023.

Read the Single Use Bag Study (PDF) to learn more about how the Reusable Bag Program is working. Click here for a sample of a sign.

Show All Answers

1. History of the Bag Fee
2. I'm a business, how do I comply?
3. What does the City of Aspen do with the fee revenue?
4. What counts as a single-use carryout bag?
5. What counts as reusable carryout bag?
6. What types of bags can I provide my customers?
7. Are there any exemptions?
8. If my store is not affected by the law but I want to reduce single-bag use, what can I do?
9. Why is the City of Aspen's single-use carryout bag fee different than the state's?