Denver plastic and paper bag fees delayed until July 1, 2021, because of coronavirus

The law would “burden” people at a time when people really don’t want any more burdens.
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Michelle Lasnier, owner of Ruby’s Pantry, packs bags of food and home goods inside her garage off South Pearl Street. April 21, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver’s fee on plastic and paper bags will begin July 1 — of next year.

The Denver City Council passed a law late in 2019 that would make most retailers charge customers 10 cents per bag. Fees were supposed to start less than two months from now, but on Monday council members unanimously delayed implementation until July 1, 2021.

Like most things right now, the change can be blamed on COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus. Gov. Jared Polis asked cities and towns with bag fees to suspend them in light of the pandemic. The council is responding to that request and the potential of “challenging economic conditions and burdens on retailers and shoppers,” city documents state.

Plus, single-use bags seem cleaner, Councilwoman Kendra Black told Denverite earlier this year. Back then, Black thought the law might commence in January 2021.

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