Six months ago, Colorado’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act put a 10-cent fee statewide on single-use plastics. Since, early data suggests the change is helping local recycling centers.
Eco-Cycle, a center in Colorado for hard-to-recycle materials, has been pushing for a ban on single-use bags for a while. While the complete data isn’t ready to share, Randy Moorman, Director of Policy and Community Campaigns for Eco-Cycle, says they have seen a reduction in plastic bags and contamination, since the Act has been put in place.
“When I’m shopping at my local King Soopers, I am so amazed by the number of people that are walking in with reusable bags or no bags at all,” Moorman said. “So I’ve seen, anecdotally, a huge change. And what I’ll also tell you is that our municipal parks departments — like Aspen is one that has done study recently — have found a huge reduction in the number of plastic bags they’re having to clean up in their parks, or the number of bags they’re having to take out of their storm drains that get clogged. So, not only is this an environmental benefit by reducing the use of these bags, it’s becoming a huge savings for our municipalities in our public tax dollars.”
Moorman also mentioned that Eco-Cycle typically spends about $100,000 a year dealing with contamination and repairs due to single-use plastic bags. Reducing the number of bags brought into the center has greatly reduced costs for the center.
“We are getting used to it. It’s easy,” said Moorman. “It’s something easy for us to do good for the environment [and] good for our health.”
Starting January 1, 2024, Colorado will begin a full-on ban on plastic bags, with the exceptions for small businesses.