Coronavirus prompts Denver City Council to postpone plastic bag fees

Denver’s upcoming 10-cent fee for single-use plastic bags won’t start for more than a year, City Council unanimously agreed Monday.

The fees were set to begin July 1 after the council approved them in December. But the council unanimously voted to push that start to July 1, 2021, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Reused bags are considered less sterile. Some stores are longer allowing customers to use them, while others require customers to bag their own groceries and goods if they bring bags from home.

The fees are meant to encourage shoppers to switch away from single-use bags in favor of more environmentally friendly options — a strategy that has worked in other cities in Colorado and around the country.

Some council members had expressed hopes that the fees could soon be followed by new measures limiting the use of single-serve styrofoam packages and more, effectively launching a war on plastics. However, those plans are on hold now as communities across the country work to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

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