Single-Use Bag Fee

Erie logos on reusable bagsIn 2021, the Colorado General Assembly approved House Bill 21-1162: Management of Plastic Products. This new state law requires that businesses collect a 10 cent fee on each single-use plastic or recyclable paper bag provided to their customers.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, all businesses in Colorado, including those in the Town of Erie, are required to collect a 10 cent fee on each single-use plastic or recyclable paper bag provided to customers. The store must then remit 60% (or $0.06) of the collected fee to the Town of Erie, while the business can retain the other 40% (or $0.04).

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the law prohibits stores and retail food establishments from providing single-use plastic bags to customers. Businesses will be allowed to provide recyclable paper bags to customers, but the 10 cent fee will remain in place for those bags. NOTE: After Jan. 1, 2024 businesses will also no longer be allowed to provide Styrofoam materials to customers in accordance with this new law, though there is no fee period for this provision. 

Support for Businesses

For business owners in Boulder County, Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) can help find the best transition for your business. Email Matt Hannon or call 303-441-1162.

For even more information on business resources, please visit Eco-Cycle's guide.

Who is Affected?

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Convenience stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Retailers
  • Other stores that provide plastic bags including any self-checkout and delivery services

Who is Exempted?

  • Businesses with three or fewer locations in Colorado
  • Farmers and roadside markets
  • Laundry or dry-cleaning services
  • Bulk stores

The bag fee does not apply to anyone who provides proof of participation in federal or state food assistance programs such as SNAP or EBT.

Fee Remittance Process

Retailers must remit bag fees on a quarterly basis to the Town of Erie. If a retailer collects less than $20 in fees, they are not required to submit the funds that quarter, but will still be required to report their fee collection to the Town. The collected fees will be combined and remitted the next quarter, assuming the total collected is more than $20 at that time.

Returns are due on the 20th day of the month, following the reporting quarter. The return is due the next business day if the 20th is on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

1st QuarterApril 20
2nd QuarterJuly 20
3rd QuarterOct. 20
4th QuarterJan. 20

Bag Fee Revenue

Our Sustainability Division will be monitoring the amount of money collected to determine the most effective use of these funds. At this time, we are using the funds toward recycling, composting, and other waste diversion programs.

Note: The single-use bag fee is not a tax and none of the proceeds can be used for other non-related government expenses. Additionally, the fee cannot be included as revenue for the purposes of calculating sales tax to a customer.