Plastic Bag Reduction Initiative

Introduction


The Avon Town Council is proposing the adoption of a new ordinance that would enact a ban on certain disposable plastic bags and require a charge of ten cents for the use of disposable paper bags. First reading of the ordinance is scheduled for September 12, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. at Avon Town Hall. 
  

Upcoming Public Forums

It is important to the Town Council that all business representatives and residents are aware of the proposal and have the opportunity to become informed of the changes and participate in the discussion. To meet this objective, the Town of Avon will be holding two public forums to give business representatives and members of the public the opportunity to learn more about the plastic bag initiative. Each forum will begin with a presentation, followed by a Q&A.

The public forums are scheduled as follows:

Thursday, August 31, 2017
Avon Performance Pavilion, Green Room
2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Avon Performance Pavilion, Green Room
2:00 p.m.



Project Summary


The proposed ordinance would prohibit retailers from providing disposable plastic carryout shopping bags to consumers and require retailers to charge a fee of ten cents for the use of disposable paper bags. A phased approach is proposed, with the first phase applying to grocery stores only, and second phase applying to all other retailers. Some of the elements included in the proposed ordinance are as follows: 
--- Effective January 1, 2018, all grocers shall only offer either a reusable bag or a disposable paper bag to a consumer. Effective January 1, 2018, it shall be unlawful for any grocer to provide disposable plastic bags to customers at any point of sale.
--- Effective January 1, 2019, all other retailers shall only offer either a reusable bag or a disposable paper bag to a consumer. Effective January 1, 2019, it shall be unlawful for any retailer to provide disposable plastic bags to customers at any point of sale. 
--- Consumers making a purchase shall pay at the time of purchase a disposable paper bag fee of ten cents ($0.10) for each disposable paper bag used during a purchase. 
--- For the first twelve (12) months following the effective date of the disposable paper bag fee, each retailer may retain twenty percent (20%) of the disposable paper bag fee as a collection and remittance expense to be taken as a credit against the disposable paper bag fee due to the Town. Thereafter the entirety of all collected disposable bag fees shall be remitted to the Town. 
--- Retailers that refuse or neglect to comply with the regulations within the ordinance shall be subject penalties. 
--- Exemptions apply to bags such as newspaper bags, laundry-dry cleaning bags, produce bags, and more. 
 

Background


The Town Council adopted the Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County Community (CAP) in December 2016, and followed that up with approval of an Implementation Schedule for the CAP in March 2017. The Implementation Schedule details a “Reduce use of single use shopping bags county-wide” program and recommends a one (1) year timeframe for implementation. In addition, the Town Council adopted the Town of Avon 2017-2018 Strategic Plan Update in February 2017, which identifies a “Tier 1” priority to “Consider legislation to end the use plastic bags…by retailers and restaurants in the Town of Avon.”

The use of disposable plastic carryout shopping bags has severe environmental impacts on a local and global scale, including greenhouse gas emissions, litter, harm to wildlife, and solid waste generation. The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce plastic waste by eliminating unnecessary disposable plastic shopping bags and achieve the Town’s environmental objectives. 
   

September 12, 2017 First Reading


First reading of the ordinance is scheduled for September 12, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers at Town Hall, 1 Lake Street, Avon, Colorado. 
  

Public Comment:


The Town Council will take public comment at first reading of the ordinance on September 12, 2017. Written comments may also be submitted prior to September 11, 2017, at 5:00 pm. Comments should be emailed to Debbie Hoppe, Town Clerk, at dhoppe@avon.org. All submitted comments will be included in the public record and will be reviewed by the Town Council. If you have questions, please contact Preston Neill, Executive Assistant to the Town Manager, at pneill@avon.org or (970)748-4404.