Recycling and Waste Management
On May 1, 2012, the City of Aspen implemented an ordinance, banning single-use plastic bags, and mandated a 20-cent fee for paper bags. The plastic bag ban does not include bags for prescriptions, fruit, vegetables, bulk items, flowers, frozen food, baked goods, dry cleaning and newspapers. Although some community members are worried that the ban on plastic bags will increase paper bag production, the City feels that a 20-cent fee is costly enough to eventually discourage paper bag sales. The fee is also being used to cover implementation costs of this program.
On May 29, 2012, Bisbee began a six month voluntary program to introduce the community to a plastic bag reduction program. The plastic bag ban program is designed to give the City of Bisbee the flexibility to create a bag reduction program that will eventually extend to all non-reusable bags. The reduction program will be monitored and assessed by the Council after the six months. If the city feels a fee on single use plastic and paper bags is required, the program will unfold in three phases. The possible fee on plastic and paper bags will be the first in the state of Arizona.
In 2007, San Francisco was the first city to ban non-compostable plastic checkout bags in supermarket and pharmacy chains. Called the “Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance”, grocery stores were only allowed to provide recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags and/or reusable bags. The specific definitions of these bags are outlined in the 2007 Ordinance. Grocery stores or pharmacies that did not comply with the ordinance faced a $100 fine for a first violation, a $200 fine for a second violation and a fine not exceeding $500 for additional violations within the same year.