Single Use Bag Fee

Plastic and paper bag fees begin in 2023

Effective January 1, 2023 the State of Colorado has mandated that most major retail businesses are required to charge a 10 cent bag fee for each single-use plastic and paper bag used at checkout.

What businesses are included in the single-use bag fee?

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Major retailers
  • Major convenience stores
  • Clothing stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Other stores that are a franchise or a chain located outside of Colorado
  • Other major stores that include self-checkout and delivery services
  • Major liquor stores

Exemptions from the single-use bag fee

  • Customers that provide evidence to the store that they are a participant in a federal or state food assistance program
  • Farmers markets
  • Laundry or dry cleaning services
  • Bulk stores
  • Smaller businesses with three or fewer locations
  • Pharmacies
  • Bags used by consumers inside the store for items like produce, bulk items, candy, small hardware items, meat, bakery or floral items
  • Restaurants are exempt from the single-use bag fee however they will be prohibited from distributing polystyrene foam containers beginning in 2024

Where will the bag fee money go?

  • Businesses retain 40% of the fee to cover the cost of administration and compliance
  • The Town of Wellington receives 60% of the fee to support recycling, waste diversion programs, and related outreach and educational activities
  • The single-use bag fee is not a tax and cannot be used for non-related expenses, so it does not violate TABOR

For more information on this mandate, please reference the Colorado HB21-1162 or the Colorado Department of Revenue.