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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Colorado’s Bag Tax four months later

Purchasable+reusable+bags+at+LaGree%E2%80%99s.+Photo+by+Camerron+Martin.+
Purchasable reusable bags at LaGree’s. Photo by Camerron Martin.

By Camerron Martin

America is not a stranger to taxes as they factor into the costs of everything we buy at various rates. Every regulated price tag has a tax that is associated with it that can change depending on the product as some products are set at a higher tax than others. At the dawn of the new year a new law was put into effect statewide in Colorado that issued a new tax on plastic bags. 

Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis signed in a law that added a ten-cent price tag to all plastic and paper bags present at all retailers throughout the state. The law which was present on ballots in recent years was enacted by the state in 2021 which stated that by Jan. 1, 2024, all retailers with more than three locations must discontinue the use of single-use carryout bags in favor of reusable ones. In the meantime all other bags whether plastic or paper are set to be ten cents a piece. 

Colorado is not the first state to enact a law that does this with the first to have done so being California in 2014 which was followed by Connecticut, Maine, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Hawaii. Despite the fact that this law had been proposed on a few ballets over time before finally being passed it has caused a lot of mixed feelings among many Colorado residents, many of which are negative.

One of the main promises that was tied to this new law was that it was aimed at creating a better environment by removing the option of plastic bags as a possible waste item that could be left behind as a pollutant. However many don’t follow these noble ideas and think that the law needs to be taken away. While the possible lack of plastic bags being thrown around would definitely make a dent in the waste that is left around our communities it would be a small impact when compared to all of the other types of plastics alone that contribute to polluting waste. Nationwide American citizens throw out one hundred billion plastic bags annually making up a little over 80% of discarded waste. 

Should the law actually amounts to real change in the environment remains to be fully seen and with around three months of the new law since it was put into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, many have voiced their opinions about it. Personally to me, the law does seem to be a pointless act that aims to drag in more funds from residents that will go toward the government and many people share the same idea. Working in a grocery store allows for many conversions related to the topic as I spend days around it and many share their thoughts about what they think. Not all are negative toward the law as a fair amount of people do see it as something that will go a long way in bettering the environment and others flat-out refuse the law all together refusing to pay the ten cents per bag and carrying their items out by hand or loose in their carts. 

Where the law and its effects will go from this point in time is unknown as of now, but so far after the few months it has been in place many are unhappy about its existence and are pushing for a new act to be put onto upcoming ballots to remove the law and keep it from being taken further. 

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