Single-Use Bag Fee

Did you know Coloradans use an estimated 4.6 million single-use plastic bags every day?  Plastic bags are produced from non-renewable resources and are very difficult to recycle. A new statewide law in Colorado, the “Plastic Pollution Reduction Act,” will impose a 10-cent fee for each single-use bag on Jan. 1, 2023. You can avoid the fee by bringing your own reusable bags to the store.


Colorado Law - Plastic Pollution Reduction Act

Jan. 1, 2023: a new Colorado law will require businesses with more than three locations in Colorado to impose a 10-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags

Jan. 1, 2024: Colorado law will ban single-use plastic bags at most stores and expanded polystyrene foam takeout containers (more commonly known as Styrofoam) at restaurants



Colorado Carryout Bag Fee Return Form

Download the above form and mail with payment to:

AR - Finance Department
Town of Estes Park
PO Box 1200
Estes Park CO 80517

Carryout Bag Fee Return Instructions

1)  Complete the Colorado Carryout Bag Fee Return Form (The Administrative Fee and the Payable Fee are automatically calculated for you.)
2)  Submit the form with payment to:
AR - Finance Department
Town of Estes Park
PO Box 1200
Estes Park CO 80517

Or email to kjohnson@estes.org



Remit Bag Fee Electronically

Payments can be made by credit card.  A processing fee will apply.


Single-Use Bag Fee FAQ's

Any of the following types of businesses which operate in multiple states or has more than 3 locations in Colorado: 

Grocery stores and supermarkets
Convenience stores
Liquor stores
Other stores that provide plastic bags
Including any self-checkout and delivery services

Are there any exceptions to the bag fee?

Stores operating only in Colorado, with three or fewer locations

What is a single-use bag?

A single-use bag means a bag that is not reusable and is destined for our local landfill or recycling process. The bag fee is only on single-use  bags distributed to customers at the point of sale, and the bag ban taking effect in 2024 is only on single-use plastic bags. The fee and ban do not include reusable bags that may be provided by the store or any bag brought in by the customer to be used.

Single-use bag does not include:

  • Bags used by consumers inside stores to:
    • Package bulk items, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or small hardware items
    • Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish
    • Contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness may be a problem
    • Contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods
  • A non-handled bag used to protect a purchased item from damaging or contaminating other purchased items when placed in a recyclable paper bag or reusable bag
  • Bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription drugs
  • Newspaper bags, door-hanger bags, laundry-dry cleaning bags, or bags sold in packages containing multiple bags for uses such as food storage, garbage, pet waste, or yard waste bags
When does the single-use bag fee take effect?

The statewide single-use bag fee takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

How much is the bag fee?

The fee is ten cents ($0.10) per plastic or paper bag.

What businesses must follow the plastic bag and Styrofoam ban starting on January 1, 2024?
  • All of the businesses that must follow the single-use bag fee in 2023 must follow the plastic bag ban as well in 2024
  • Including any self-checkout and delivery services
  • Restaurants and other retail food establishments (for Styrofoam)
How do businesses comply with the bag fee?

Per a Colorado law passed in 2021, stores and retail food establishments, with more than 3 locations in Colorado, will be required to charge customers a $0.10 fee for each single-use plastic and paper bag used at the point of sale starting on January 1, 2023. Businesses will retain four cents of the fee to cover the costs of administration and compliance while six cents is to be remitted to the local government on a quarterly basis. 

For applicable businesses within town limits, the returns will be submitted to the Town of Estes Park at least on a quarterly basis. A monthly option is also provided for businesses who wish to submit on a more frequent basis, such as for businesses that file monthly sales tax returns.