Informing Your Community About the Fee on Bag Plastic
Help residents in your community become aware of the new fee on plastic and paper checkout bags, and the financial, environmental, and social equity benefits of reducing plastic and paper bag use.
The most effective messaging will vary from one community to the next, but some important information to share includes:
- The average person living in the US uses 365 plastic bags per year.
- Plastic bags are one of the most common pollutants in Colorado rivers, pollute landscapes, and can be lethal to birds, fish, and cattle that mistake plastics as food.
- Plastic bags are one of the biggest contaminants in local recycling systems, threatening worker safety and causing damage to machines.
- The fee on plastic and paper checkout bags can help reduce bag use by 70% or more and save local businesses money by reducing the number of bags they must purchase.
- Residents can skip the fee by bringing their own bags (including reused plastic and paper bags).
- Recipients of federal or state food assistance—such as EBT, SNAP, or WIC—DO NOT have to pay the bag fee.
- Sixty percent of fees collected support the community by funding program administration and education, and supporting recycling, compost, or waste diversion programs and outreach in the communities. Forty percent of fees collected are retained by retailers to fund implementation.
Resources to help you inform your community
Below you will find resources that may help raise awareness about the bag fee in your community. You can use and edit any of the resources below; no permission or crediting required.
- Sample content for your website
- Social media package
- Utility bill insert (⅓ page, fits inside a #10 envelope)
- Mailer postcard informing residents of the bag fee, 6.5″ x 9″ (or: mailer with printer’s bleed)
- Sample newsletter article
- Print advertisement: ¼ page, vertical (or: ad with printer’s bleed)
- Print advertisement: ⅓ page, horizontal (or: ad with printer’s bleed)
Frequently Asked Questions
Help provide answers to the most common questions residents will have. Share these FAQs on your website, social media, at events, or by mail!
Reusable Bag Giveaway Program
The portion of the $0.10 fee on plastic and paper checkout bags remitted to municipalities can be used to fund a reusable bag giveaway in your community. It’s a great way to raise awareness about the fee on plastic and paper bags—and helps support underserved residents through the provision of free and durable reusable bags.
Some tips on operating a Reusable Bag Giveaway:
- Choose high quality, durable bags that will endure years of use. Examples of wholesale reusable bag providers include:
- Mile High Workshop is a social enterprise based in Denver that repurposes used marketing banners into various types of bags, creating employment opportunities and providing job training for members of the community seeking to rebuild from addiction, homelessness, and incarceration.
- ChicoBag is a B Corp, Climate Neutral Certified, 1% for the Planet member, and Fair Labor Association member. Pricing for 10,000 polyester Original bags with a one-color logo starts at $4.25 per bag, and 10,000 rePETe Vita bags with a one-color logo starts at $6.59 per bag. Contact Sarah Jackson ([email protected] or call 530.717.2154 for more options)
- Reusable bags made from recycled plastic ($1.00 or less for qty. 5000+)
- Reusable bags made from bamboo (approximately $2.17 or less for qty. 5000+)
- For residents who do not currently have reusable bags, provide multiple bags per household (at least one per person in a household).
- Identify under-resourced residents in your community, and be sure to make reusable bags easily accessible to these residents.
- Partner with retailers to provide free bags at their locations.
- Partner with other organizations to provide free bags, including local food banks, libraries, schools, etc.
- Consider sponsoring a reusable bag art contest with the theme of “Reducing Plastic Pollution.” Have residents vote on their favorite pieces, and print the winning pieces on reusable bags.
- Consider partnering with local groups to create reusable bags from old t-shirts.
- Host a Reusable Bag Roundup: Try hosting a reusable bag collection event in your community, and donate the collected bags to a community center, food bank, or other organization that will distribute them. Check out the City of Fort Collins’s simple instructions on how to host a reusable bag roundup.