A new bill that died in the 2020 Colorado legislative session has found more success in the 2021 session, passing a crucial senate vote 20-14 last week. The Management of Plastic Products bill, also …
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A new bill that died in the 2020 Colorado legislative session has found more success in the 2021 session, passing a crucial senate vote 20-14 last week.
The Management of Plastic Products bill, also known as the Plastic Pollution Reduction act, has now passed floor votes in the House and Senate. The bill is now headed to Gov. Jared Polis.
The bill would phase out plastic bags and polystyrene use in many stores and restaurants. It also undoes earlier legislation that banned individual municipalities from enacting their own plastic and polystyrene rules.
The bill prohibits stores from providing single-use plastic carry out bags to customers, beginning on Sept. 1, 2022. The bill also prohibits a retail food establishment, on and after Jan.1, 2022, from using polystyrene container for ready-to-eat food.
Also, starting Sept. 1, 2022, stores may only provide a recycled paper carryout bag to customers for a 10 cent per-bag fee. Each store is to keep a portion of that fee, with the rest going to municipalities and counties to help with the administration and enforcement of the new bill.
"This a huge win and must come to fruition," said Blakesley Egan, a student at Colorado State University. The college student, who said she has often volunteered at the Lakewood recycling center. is a spokesperson for Environment Colorado which lobbied for the bill.
Environment Colorado State Director Hannah Collazo said the group anticipates the governor's support in signing the bill.
"Colorado will now be a global leader," said Madhvi Chittoor, a 10 years-old at Hackberry Hill Elementary in Arvada, whose comments came during a post-vote press conference by Environment Colorado. She has been a vocal proponent of reducing plastic waste in recent years, including speaking with legislators in favor of last year's version.
The bill was criticized as anti-business by Republicans, who offered up numerous amendments to the bill's text. Out of the amendments that were accepted, there are some portions of the bill designed to mitigate some of its economic impacts. Individuals who are part of federal or state food assistance programs are exempt from the new bag fee. Also, schools are granted extra time to comply, with high school food service establishments given until Jan. 1, 2025.
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