Carryout Bag Fee

In 2021, the Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 21-1162. Beginning January 1, 2024, the act prohibits stores and retail food establishments from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. Certain retail food establishments, and small stores that operate solely in Colorado and have 3 or fewer locations, may provide single-use plastic carryout bags.

Between January 1, 2023, and January 1, 2024, a store may furnish a recycled paper carryout bag or a single-use plastic carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale if the customer pays a fee of 10 cents per bag or a higher fee adopted by the municipality or county in which the store is located. On and after January 1, 2024, a store may furnish only a recycled paper carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale at a fee of 10 cents per bag or a higher fee imposed by the municipality or county in which the store is located.

A store is required to remit, on a quarterly basis beginning April 1, 2024, 60% of the carryout bag fee revenues to the municipality or county within which the store is located and may retain the remaining 40% of the carryout bag fee revenues.

Businesses that are included in the single-use bag fee:

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Major retailers
  • Major convenience stores
  • Clothing stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Other stores that are a franchise or a chain located outside of Colorado
  • Other major stores that include self-checkout and delivery services
  • Major liquor stores

Exemptions from single-use bag fee:

  • Customers that provide evidence to the store that they are a participant in a federal or state food assistance program
  • Farmers markets
  • Laundry or dry cleaning services
  • Bulk stores
  • Smaller businesses with three or fewer locations
  • Pharmacies
  • Bags used by consumers inside the store for items like produce, bulk items, candy, small hardware items, meat, bakery, or floral items

Restaurants are exempt from the single-use bag fee; however, they will be prohibited from distributing polystyrene foam containers beginning in 2024.

More information on this mandate may be found from the Colorado Department of Revenue & Eco-Cycle.