Denver – Charge Customers Who Use Plastic Bags

Denver – Charge Customers Who Use Plastic Bags


Denver City Council Not Telling You the Full Story

Cristal M Clark 

Yesterday I heard that the Denver Colorado City Council is currently deciding whether or not they want to charge consumers extra for using plastic bags. They tried this back in 2013 and it never passed. 

Yesterday I saw quite a few social media posts asking the city to figure out a way to actually create affordable living again in Denver rather than worry about charging its citizens for using plastic bags. 

One Comment read: “Maybe instead of worrying about how you can get more money out of your residents you can figure out how to get the costs of apartments lowered to a more reasonable price.”

Another read: “You are building all this so called “affordable housing” that isn’t available to the working class and you want to charge us more just to live and shop in this city? Open up that so called “affordable housing” to the working class before asking us to pay more just to live here!”

Another read: “What a huge waste of time. We have bigger issues in Denver than plastic bags the city can’t figure out how to recycle, now they want to penalize us?” 

“I’m a business owner they created a piece of paper that has to be filled out for tax exempt sales in the city which they will never verify because everyone filling the paper out is another city, government, hospital, school or church which they never audit, I fill it out or get charged the tax which I have to recoup from my customer and now you want me to tell my customers you are going to charge more for the use of a plastic bag for the auto parts I sell? I’m already losing business in Denver over taxes and all the paperwork my customers and I now have to fill out, now you want us to haggle over a plastic bag? I own a auto part store how many of those are in the next town over with less hassle, taxes and extra fees for a plastic bag?”

“I agree and don’t agree theirs a time and a place for this sort of thing and this is not California. I have to pay a fee to park my car at home if I want to park on the street, it’s called a permit, I pay extra fee’s just for living in Denver city limits outside of that in addition to the fees I pay when I shop here, now they want more? What a joke.”

“I’ll pay the fee when they offer real affordable housing to all not just welfare recipients.”

What City Council is not telling you is that when you do not use plastic bags currently, retail outlets actually do give you a discount for either re-using them or bringing your own cloth/paper bags. So do retailers really want to charge even more for the plastic bags than they already do? Do they? The cost of living is more than wages in Denver, now City Council wants to add more to the cost of living? And no it’s not much but at some point voters start looking at being nickeled and dimed by a city or municipality in terms of fees for just about anything. 


The issue with recycling plastic bags is not even a consumer issue, it’s a recycling plant issue. 

Yes, you read that right, this is a recycling issue that has nothing to do with consumers. 

The argument according to the city council is simply,  most of our plastic trash bags just end up as litter because they damage the machinery at recycling facilities, meaning even if you are throwing them into your recycling bin, they are not, in fact being recycled which…excuse me if I am wrong here sort of defeats part of the purpose of having recycling in the first place because here in Denver, we cannot put those plastic bags into our purple bins. 

Sounds a lot like a recycling facility issue to me rather than a consumer issue. I mean if you are going to have a recycling facility one would think you would also figure out just how to recycle those plastic shopping bags, we have been using them for over a decade now. 

So what is the city going to do with that money? Develop a way to actually recycle those plastic bags or waste it elsewhere? 

My guess is they really have no intention of allocating such an extra tax other than to put it into some fund of waste, which has nothing to do with recycling. 


Charge the recycling plants who can’t seem to actually recycle this plastic instead of the consumer, some of us when we forget our cloth bags actually do re-use those plastic bags for other purposes before just tossing them out. 

OR urge stores to stop offering them period.

Yes recycling and the environment is a huge love affair currently,  Denver City Council has more important things they should be focusing on currently, rather than penalizing consumers for an issue that a so called recycling plant cannot deal with, how is that our fault, most of us don’t own a recycling plant. 

Cristal M Clark

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