Carryout Bag Fee

Colorado Plastic Pollution Reduction Act

The State of Colorado Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, or Colorado House Bill HB21-1162, was passed in 2021 to reduce and mitigate plastic pollution in Colorado. This two-phased law became effective on January 1, 2023, and put a 10-cent fee on paper and plastic carryout bags used at checkout and for pickup and delivery orders at large retail stores. On January 1, 2024, plastic carryout bags will be banned at large retail stores, and paper carryout bags will continue to be offered for the 10-cent fee. Polystyrene (brand name Styrofoam) containers will also be banned on January 1, 2024, at retail food establishments such as restaurants, fast-food chains, grocery stores, and convenience stores.  

Carryout Bag Fee

Businesses are required to keep an accurate record of the total amount of fees collected and remit 60% of the total amount to the City of Canon City. Of the 10-cent fee collected, 6-cents per bag must be remitted to the City of Cañon City on a quarterly basis, based on the total amount collected in the previous quarter. It was recommended that stores begin remitting in April 2023, however, the first remittance must occur no later than April 2024. The first remittance payment must account for all fees collected starting January 1, 2023. After April 2024, remittance must occur regularly on a quarterly basis.

First Quarter (January - March) -- Due April 20th
Second Quarter (April - June) -- Due July 20th
Third Quarter (July - September) -- Due October 20th
Fourth Quarter (October - December) -- Due January 20th
The return is due the next business day if the 20th is on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

If bag fees due to the City for a particular quarter do not amount to $20 or more, the business may retain those collected fees until such time as they have accumulated at least $20 total and remit in that quarter. However, businesses are required to submit information quarterly whether revenues exceed $20 or not.

Carryout Bag Ban

Starting January 1, 2024, stores and retail food establishments will no longer be allowed to provide single-use plastic carryout bags. If plastic bags were part of a business’s inventory prior to January 1, 2024, it can continue providing those bags to customers until June 1, 2024, but customers must still pay a bag fee. After the plastic bag ban goes into effect, the fee still applies to paper bags and any remaining inventory of plastic bags.

Subject to Ban & Carryout Fee


Subject to the ban and bag fee

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Convenience stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Pharmacies and drug stores
  • Retailers
  • Stores or retail food establishments providing single-use plastic carryout bags
  • Temporary Vendors

The above businesses are subject to the ban and bag fee if they meet any of the following three criteria.

  1. Businesses that have more than three (3) locations
  2. Businesses that are part of a franchise
  3. Businesses that have locations outside Colorado

Exempt from the ban and bag fee

  • Smaller stores**
  • Restaurants
  • Farmers and roadside markets
  • Bags for loose, bulk items including hardware, bolts, screws, nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains, candy, greeting cards, seed, livestock feed, or pet feed
  • Bags for dry cleaning, laundry, or garments, prescription medication, frozen food, meat, seafood, plants, flowers and other items that could otherwise contaminate other items
  • Bags for unwrapped food or bakery goods such as those used by restaurants for take-home or to-go food
  • Bags for small pets like fish, crustaceans, mollusks and insects 

**those with three or fewer locations operating solely in Colorado

Restrictions on Expanded Polystyrene Products

POLYSTYRENE (STYROFOAM) (Effective Jan. 1, 2024) 

Also starting January 1, 2024, retail food establishments will not be permitted to distribute expanded polystyrene products (i.e. Styrofoam) for use as a container for ready-to-eat food. If a retail food establishment has remaining inventory that it purchased before January 1, 2024, it can distribute that inventory until June 1, 2024. The retail food establishment exception for plastic bags does not apply to expanded polystyrene products. 

Subject to the ban

  • Restaurants
  • Major grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Major convenience stores
  • Other major retail food establishments providing expanded polystyrene containers
  • Cafeterias in schools, prisons, and businesses

Exempted from the ban

  • Farmers and roadside markets
  • Stores whose primary sales revenue does not come from food products

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