Carryout Bag Fee to Increase to 25 Cents May 4
Updated: May 1
On March 28, 2023, the Breckenridge Town Council passed Ordinance 12-23, which increases the paper bag fee to $.25 and requires paper carryout bags contain 100% recycled content. This ordinance aligns Breckenridge with new state regulations on carryout bags and maintains the plastic bag prohibition established in 2021.
The Town of Breckenridge began collecting the disposable bag fee in 2013 in order to discourage the use of single use bags and to reduce waste. While bag use has decreased compared to taxable sale increases, many disposable bags are still being used and end up landfills, litter the environment, use precious resources, impede drainage systems, and impact wildlife. Allowable bags under Ordinance 12-23 are fully recyclable in Summit County curbside programs. Additionally, the Town encourages businesses to participate in the Breckenridge Reusable Bag program to encourage reusable bags and eliminate paper bag use.
Ordinance 12-23 becomes effective May 4, 2023.
Key Changes to Bag Ordinance
Since 2013, the ordinance allowed retailers to distribute plastic and paper bags, including made from virgin material, for a fee of $.10 per bag. Ordinance 12-23 will only allow for distribution of paper bags made from 100% recycled material beginning May 4, 2023.
Although a restaurant may only issue recycled paper bags for takeout, restaurants are not required to collect and remit the new fee of $.25.
Stores must remit 60% of the fee collected to the Town of Breckenridge. The remaining 40% can be kept by the store to:
Provide educational information to customers about the fee;
Provide the signage required;
Train staff in the implementation and administration of the fee;
Improve or alter their infrastructure or computer programs to allow for the implementation, collection, administration of the fee;
Encourage the use of reusable bags, and/or promote the recycling of paper bags; and/or;
Improve infrastructure to increase recycling
Remittance is due quarterly. More info on how to remit bag fees can be found here.
Who must comply with the new ordinance?
All businesses in the Town of Breckenridge who offer disposable bags to patrons and guests including but not limited to retail, restaurants, cafes, grocers, liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, and jewelers.
What bags incur the $.25 carryout bag fee?
All bags that do not meet the exempt criteria listed in Ordinance 12-23 and the administrative rules and regulations must be charged a $.25 fee. The only allowable carryout bags must be made from 100% recycled content.
RECYCLED PAPER CARRYOUT BAG: means a bag that is one hundred percent recycled material or other post-consumer content furnished to a customer at a store or retail food establishment at the point of sale for use by the customer to transport or carry purchased items. Recycled carryout bag does not include:
(i) a bag made of paper when the paper has a basis weight of thirty pounds or less;
(ii) a bag that a pharmacy provides to a customer purchasing prescription medication;
(iii) a bag that a customer uses inside a store to:
(a) package loose or bulk items, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or greeting cards; nails, bolts, screws, or other small hardware items; live insects, fish, crustaceans, mollusks, or other small species; and bulk seed, bulk livestock feed, or bulk pet feed;
(b) contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, seafood, fish, flowers, potted plants, or other items that, if they were to come in contact with other items, could dampen or contaminate the other items; or
(c) contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods; or
(iv) a laundry, dry cleaning, or garment bag.
Exemptions have changed. In addition to i-iv above, the ordinance does not apply to
A. A bag brought into a store by a customer and used to transport goods from the store.
B. A bag that was previously used and made available to customers at a store.
C. A bag provided to a customer at no charge if the customer presents, at the time of purchase, a benefit card or similar documentation reflecting participation in a federal, state, county or Town income-qualified aid program, including but not limited to benefits delivered via Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) such as the federal Supplemental] Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) or Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
If I'm a vendor at a Farmer's Market or Art Fair, do I need to comply with the bag fee?
If I'm a restaurant, what do I need to know?
Restaurants are not required to collect the bag fee, but a restaurant must comply with the definition of recycled carryout bags (100% recycled content paper bags).
How do I remit my bag fees to the Town?
Are there reusable bags available for resale at my store?
The Town of Breckenridge uses part of the revenue of the carryout bag fee to purchase Breckenridge reusable bags for the public. These bags are highly sought after memorabilia as well as functional reusable bags. Stores can purchase bags from the Town for $1.20/bag in cases of 100. Click here to order bags.
Do I need to post signage in my business?
Yes. The Town has branded signage explaining the bag fee in English and Spanish that is available free of charge and can be downloaded here. Stores are also welcome to make their own signs. Signs are required at point of sale locations.
Can I keep a portion of the carryout bag fee?
Yes. Stores can keep up to 40% of the fee revenue.
What are the carryout bag fee revenues spent on?
The Bag Fund is a special fund where revenues collected from the fee pay for administration and enforcement of the program, public education, waste reduction, marketing, and other targeted strategies related to reducing material waste.
What are the penalties for not remitting my bag fee?
If payment of any amount of the bag fee due to the Town is not received on or before the appliable due date, penalty and interest charges shall be added in the amount of:
A penalty of 10% total due; and,
Interest charge of 1% of total penalty per month.
Can I use my existing inventory of recycled paper bags?
Yes. Retailers are permitted to use up existing inventory of recycled paper bags.
Can I charge an additional fee to help cover my costs?
Yes. Stores can charge an additional fee to help cover the costs of recycled content bags provided that it is a separate line item on the customer receipt from the Town's bag fee.
Other questions? If you have other questions regarding the new carryout bag ordinance, please contact email@example.com.