After a year of the statewide fee on single-use plastic bags, the Eco-Cycle Recycling Center in Boulder estimates that 1.5-1.8 billion fewer plastic bags were used in Colorado in 2023. The center anticipates a greater reduction in use in 2024 as businesses phase out the use of single-use plastic bags in most cases. This reduction is crucial because single-use plastics bags are the number one contaminant found in the state’s streams and rivers. These bags are also not able to be fully recycled and instead have to be “downcycled” into other products. Businesses in Colorado have until June to use whatever single-use plastic bags they already have while still collecting the 10-cent fee. The collected fees are divided between the business and the local government to fund green initiatives.

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