Shoppers in Craig will start seeing new fees, bagless retailers in 2023 |

Shoppers in Craig will start seeing new fees, bagless retailers in 2023

A City Market checkout stand has added reusable bags to help make the state-mandated transition to bag fees easier in 2023.
Amber Delay/Craig Press

Starting Sunday, Jan. 1, shoppers will start to see local stores going bagless or implementing bag fees to comply with state legislation that will do away with single-use plastic bags by 2024. 

In 2021, the Colorado General Assembly enacted a bill that prohibits stores and restaurants from providing single-use, carryout plastic bags starting Jan. 1, 2024.

From Jan. 1, 2023, until the bag ban takes full effect in 2024, establishments will be required to collect a 10 cent fee for each plastic and paper bag. Once the full ban is in place, businesses will only be able to provide recycled paper bags for a 10 cent fee on each bag used.

Colorado municipalities have the option to add additional charges onto the bag fee, but Craig City Council voted over the summer to make local bag fees tax exempt. 

According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, establishments can retain 40% of bag fee revenues, and will be required to remit 60% of the bag fees collected to local municipalities, which can be used to fund waste diversion education and recycling programs. 

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, workers at the City Market in Craig said that based on the feedback from customers, many shoppers would rather pay a fee than see the state get rid of plastic bags altogether.

Because the change may be difficult for some customers, City Market has already started to add more displays with reusable bags to give shoppers another option. Reusable bags at City Market range in price from 99 cents up to $4.99, and more reusable options will be coming soon. 

For most local stores, the bag fee will simply be added to the order total at the check stand or cashier. Maurices and Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply were two retailers that said they will continue to carry single-use bags in 2023 with the added 10 cent fee. 

The City Market self-checkout lanes may end up looking similar to the City Market in Steamboat, which has popups on the screen asking how many bags a customer would like to use prior to finalizing payment. 

The bag fee does not apply to customers who can provide evidence they participate in a state or federal food assistance program. The act also specifies that bag fees and plastic bag bans don’t apply to materials used to package pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices or dietary supplements.

A sign inside of the Craig Walmart on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022.
Amber Delay/Craig Press

While many retailers are opting to utilize the single-use bag fees in 2023, stores and restaurants can opt to go bagless sooner.

Starting on Jan. 1, the Craig Walmart will be going completely bagless and doing away with both single-use plastic and paper bags. Local Walmart management declined to comment on the changes, but a sign in the entryway encouraged patrons to bring bags from home or purchase reusable bags in the store.

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