Carbondale to take up shopping bag ordinance |

Carbondale to take up shopping bag ordinance

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Following a recent decision by their counterparts in Aspen, Carbondale trustees are set to consider a ban on plastic shopping bags at their regular meeting tonight.

The proposed Carbondale ordinance is modeled after one passed by the Aspen City Council recently.

In September, the Carbondale board reviewed a proposed ordinance to place a fee on the use of both plastic and paper bags provided by grocery and other retail stores.

Basalt’s town board recently passed a fee ordinance, but Aspen opted for a ban instead.

Carbondale trustees said they, too, wanted to consider a ban alongside a fee proposal before making a final decision.

The Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) has been working with municipalities from Glenwood Springs to Aspen to come up with a uniform ordinance aimed at curbing the use of disposable shopping bags.

“Passing the same ordinance as that of our neighboring communities would simplify community understanding,” CORE writes in a memo to the Carbondale board for tonight’s meeting. “But, if the three towns all address single-use bags in different ways, the end result still has the potential to be truly impactful …”

Pros of a ban include the elimination of plastic shopping bags at grocery stores and a stronger message to residents and visitors, CORE notes.

Cons include that it would provide less choice for shoppers, and would result in a loss of grocer support and lack of funding for outreach programs.

Area grocers have been receptive to the fee concept, but not a ban. The alternative fee proposal would impose a 20-cent fee on each plastic bag used, and part of the proceeds would go into a community education program about the impacts of single-use plastic bags on the environment.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave. The plastic bag discussion is tentatively slated for 6:30 p.m.

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