New State Law Requires Fee for Plastic and Paper Bags in 2023
Fee remittance will occur online in the same portal that sales taxes are remitted. When that portal is available, impacted stores will be notified. When that is available it can be found here or on https://www.gjcity.org/385/Sales-Use-Lodging-Taxes
Remittance is quarterly, so remittance of January-March fees will occur on April 1. Remittance of April-June fees will occur on July 1, and so on.
Due to the passage of House Bill 21-1162, the Colorado Plastic Pollution Reduction Act (PPRA), HB21-1162, beginning on January 1, 2023, “Large Stores” across Colorado are required to charge customers a $0.10 fee for every paper and/or plastic carryout bag they receive during check-out. The bill is focused on large sized stores with more than three locations and/or that are part of a franchise, corporation, or partnership with a physical location outside of Colorado. Here is a visual guide to which businesses are impacted. A portion of the fee, $0.06/ bag, must be remitted to the City of Grand Junction and the remainder is kept by the store.
Under this law, beginning next year on January 1, 2024, “Large Stores” are not allowed to purchase plastic carryout bags, but may still charge the $0.10 fee for plastic bags purchased prior to that date. They may also still provide recycled paper carryout bags for the $0.10 fee. On June 1, 2024, all plastic carryout bags will be banned in large stores.
The City is available to help educate businesses and the general public about the new fee and encourages stores owners/managers to assist in educating customers about the new state law. Businesses with corporate or state-wide offices, are encouraged to check to see if there are already company-wide policies developed in response to this statewide law.
Here are the rules and stipulations outlined in the new state law:
- Stores must provide on each customer’s transaction receipt a record of the number of carryout bags provided as part of the transaction and the total amount of fees charged for the carryout bags, itemized by type of bag (recycled paper or plastic).
- Stores must display signage in conspicuous locations notifying customers of this fee. The City of Grand Junction has developed a sign for businesses to use.
- Stores may not engage in practices to subvert the law including, but not limited to, providing refunds to customers to offset the bag fee in any way or failing to charge customers for each bag they use (including through self-check-out).
- All paper carryout bags must be 100% recycled material or postconsumer content. A store may provide bags that do not meet this criterion if the bags are in the store’s inventory prior to January 1, 2023.
- Stores must keep an accurate record of the total amount of fees collected and remit 60% of the total amount to the City of Grand Junction. In order to streamline the payment process, Grand Junction is working to set up collections online.
- Fees collected must be remitted to the City of Grand Junction on a quarterly basis, based on the total amount collected in the previous quarter. The first remittance payment must account for all fees collected starting January 1, 2023. After April 2023, remittance must occur regularly on a quarterly basis. Even though the bill states April 2024, the city has adopted an ordinance that requires remittance starting April 2023.
- Stores may retain 40% of the total fees collected, and these funds do not count as revenue for the purpose of calculating and charging sales tax to the customer
According to state law, failure to implement these requirements could result in fines up to $1,000 per customer transaction where a violation has occurred (e.g., failure to collect fees).
City staff are available to help with navigating the new law and to answer any questions. For additional information about remittance, please contact City of Grand Junction staff by emailing email@example.com or calling 970-244-1521. For general questions about the law, please contact the Sustainability Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-256-4059.
Full text of HB21-1162.