On average, a typical American family accumulates 60 plastics bags within only four trips to the grocery store, according to Penn State. Within a year, the average American family accumulates almost 1,500.
While that statistic may not appear too damning, plastic bags are produced with fossil fuels, which have been proven to contribute to global warming. Once a plastic bag has been acquired, it is then a harmful waste in landfills and oceans. With the obvious threat to our environment, caution being brought to single-use bags is more prevalent than ever.
On July 6th, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a new law to force Colorado businesses and customers to decrease their use of single-use plastic. This law will start restricting polystyrene packaging and single-use plastic bags beginning on January 1st, 2024. Although the law may seem like a big change, the law exempts businesses with three or fewer locations in the state.
Even the chain businesses required to enforce the ban will still provide plastic bags starting in 2024, the only difference being a bag fee. The law proposed a 10 cent bag fee, but local governments have the ability to enact their own fees if they please. According to Science Direct, although it seems like a profit scheme for businesses, bag fees help reduce single-use plastic bag consumption.