Plastic Bag Ban and Paper Bag Fee

Introduction

The Avon Town Council recently enacted a ban on disposable plastic bags being provided by retailers to customers at the point of sale. The goal of the adopted program is to reduce plastic waste by eliminating unnecessary disposable plastic shopping bags. The Town has prepared the following Implementation Guide to help retailers, residents and visitors prepare for when the ban takes effect on May 1, 2018. Town staff is available to answer any questions. Please do not hesitate to reach out for assistance by contacting Preston Neill, Deputy Town Manager, at (970)748-4404 or pneill@avon.org
 
To view the ordinance in its entirety, click HERE.

PLASTIC BAG BAN

Implementation Guide - Town of Avon Disposable Plastic Bag Ban

1. Which retailers are affected by the disposable plastic bag ban?
 All retailers are subject to the new requirements, including grocery  stores, department stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, liquor stores,  restaurants, catering trucks, convenience stores, and other retail  stores or vendors. There is no exemption for small retailers.

2. When will the ban take effect?
 May 1, 2018. A retailer may implement the plastic bag ban before the effective date, if desired.

3. How will the plastic bag ban be enforced?

4. What bags are not allowed?
 Plastic bags considered disposable are prohibited at the point of sale.

5. Are any plastic bags allowed?
 Plastic bags are allowed for the following uses:
 - Bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription drugs
 - Newspaper bags, door hanger bags, laundry-dry cleaning bags, or bags sold in  packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet  waste, or yard waste bags
 - Bags used by customers inside stores to:
 a. Package bulk items, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy or small hardware items;
 b. Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish, regardless of whether the items are
 prepackaged;
 c. Contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness may be a
 problem; or
 d. Contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods.
 
6. With no carryout disposable plastic bags allowed, may a retailer provide a paper bag at check out? 
 Retailers may provide a paper bag to customers at the time of check out.

7. If a retailer provides a paper bag, is there a fee?
 Yes. For each carry-out paper bag given to a customer, the retailer is  required to charge a 10-cent fee. This is called the Disposable Paper  Bag Fee.

8. May a retailer just “eat the cost” of the paper bags and not charge a customer the 10-cent fee?
 No. The 10-cent charge must be collected. It is meant to encourage  customers to shop with reusable bags. For this reason, the number of  paper bags provided and the amount of 10-cent charges must be shown on  the customer’s sales slip.

9. Are there exemptions for the charges for low-income customers?
 Yes. Specifically, a retailer may provide a disposable paper bag to a  customer with no fee if the customer provides proof that he or she is a  participant in a federal or state Food Assistance Program.

10. May a retailer offer a discount to a customer who brings in his or her own bags. 
 Yes, a retailer may offer a discount to any customer who brings in a reusable bag for use at the time of check-out.

11. How does a retailer keep track of the number of paper bags provided to customers?
 Each retailer is required to show on the customer transaction receipt a  “Disposable Paper Bag Fee”, which will show the number of paper bags and the 10-cent fee charge amount.

12. What portion of the 10-cent fee must be remitted to the Town of Avon if my business is less than less than 4,000 square feet?
 Each retailer, which operates in less than 4,000 square feet of retail space, may retain 100% of the Disposable Paper Bag Fee.

13. What portion of the 10-cent fee must be remitted to the Town of Avon if my business is 4,000 square feet or greater?
a. From May 1, 2018 through April 30, 2019, a retailer may  retain 20% of the 10-cent fee to be taken as a retailer credit against  the Disposable Paper Bag Fee due to the Town. The remaining 80% of the  Disposable Paper Bag Fee shall be remitted to the Town.
 b. Beginning on May 1, 2019, 100% of the collected Disposable Paper Bag Fee shall be remitted to the Town.
 c. The Disposable Paper Bag Fee will be remitted at the same time as  payment of sales tax to the Town of Avon. The Town’s Finance Department  has the necessary form for retailers to file individual returns with the Town separate from the Town's sales tax forms to demonstrate compliance with the Disposable Paper Bag Fee. The form will be available on the  Town’s tax collection system, MUNIRevs, at https://avon.munirevs.com.

More Information
The Town of Avon will be providing continuous information to Avon residents and visitors about the plastic bag ban to help retail  customers prepare for the change. Town staff is available to help with  the implementation of the bag ban. Please do not hesitate to contact  Preston Neill, Deputy Town Manager, at (970)748-4404 or pneill@avon.org, with any questions.