Carryout Bags & Containers (Fees, Bans, Reusables)

Reducing single-use carryout bags and polystyrene containers helps prevent litter and curbs excessive plastic consumption. By switching from habits built on disposable items to reusable items, our community can conserve resources and cut down on pollution and litter.

In an effort to incentivize the switch to reusable bags and alternative food containers, Colorado's Plastic Pollution Reeducation Act (PPRA) is a state law that bans single-use plastic bags and polystyrene (also known as Styrofoam®) in certain stores starting in 2024. Additionally, a $0.10 fee on paper carryout bags applies to certain stores.

The first phase of this law was a $0.10 fee on paper and plastic bags that went into effect in 2023.

NOTICE TO BUSINESSES: The bag fee collection form is NOW LIVE as of October 1, 2023. Please see the "Affected Retail Businesses" tab for more information.

Resources from Eco-Cycle

Colorado-based non-profit Eco-Cycle has developed a number of helpful resources for businesses navigating this law and the phased impacts from 2023 to 2024 and beyond.

  1. Customers & Individuals
  2. Affected Retail Businesses
  3. Options for Exempt Businesses
  4. FAQ

Avoid the fee and reduce waste - bring your own bag!

It takes a little change of habit, but bringing your own reusable bag is the easiest way to avoid paying the $0.10 bag fee.

How to get a reusable bag

  • Supplies of free bags from City of Durango programs are currently out of stock.
  • Many stores offer reusable bags for low prices. These bags quickly pay for themselves in avoided fees.
  • Visit Durango is working on developing reusable bag programs for visitors - check back for more information.

Inform stores of the polystyrene ban

The ban on polystyrene provides some exemptions to certain retail food stores. If you would like to see your favorite restaurant make the shift, encourage them (politely) to consider alternatives and explain how a majority of stores in our community no longer use polystyrene.

Exempt customers

Customers that can show proof of being on a federal or state food assistance program do not have to pay a fee for carryout bags.

There is no customer exemption on the polystyrene food container ban.