(Aspen, CO) – Today the Aspen City Council voted 4-1 to pass an ordinance that bans plastic bags and places a $0.20 fee on paper bags at grocery stores in Aspen. The law will go into effect on May 1, 2012.
“Aspen is all too familiar with the negative effects of plastic pollution,” said Julia Ritchie an Aspen native and member of Environment Colorado’s national network who worked to help pass the bag ban in Aspen. “We know that plastic shopping bags constitute a major part of our urban waste stream. They cost local government millions of dollars in clean up and disposal expenses. They foul the environment and endanger wildlife. This ban is a crucial first step in solving the problem, and I’m very proud to support it.”.
More than 80 national and local governments across the globe have taken official action to ban throw-away plastic bags or establish fees on such bags. Aspen is the second Colorado community – after Telluride – to pass a ban on plastic bags.
Aspen’s leadership may have a ripple effect throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. When the Basalt Town Council passed a 20-cent fee on paper and plastic bags in August, city officials said they would consider an outright ban if Aspen passed one. Carbondale has also shown support for a ban, and discussions are starting in Snowmass Village and Glenwood Springs as well.
“I am thrilled that Aspen has taken the lead to ban plastic bags in Colorado, and hope that the rest of the Roaring Fork Valley will join the team,” said Ritchie.