Carryout Bag Fee

In 2021, the Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 21-1162. Beginning January 1, 2024, the act prohibits stores and retail food establishments from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. Certain retail food establishments, and small stores that operate solely in Colorado and have 3 or fewer locations, may provide single-use plastic carryout bags. 

Between January 1, 2023, and January 1, 2024, a store may furnish a recycled paper carryout bag or a single-use plastic carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale if the customer pays a fee of 10 cents per bag or a higher fee adopted by the municipality or county in which the store is located. On and after January 1, 2024, a store may furnish only a recycled paper carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale at a fee of 10 cents per bag or a higher fee imposed by the municipality or county in which the store is located.

A store is required to remit, on a quarterly basis beginning April 1, 2024, 60% of the carryout bag fee revenues to the municipality or county within which the store is located and may retain the remaining 40% of the carryout bag fee revenues. 

The carryout bag fee does not apply to a customer that provides evidence to the store that the customer is a participant in a federal or state food assistance program.

The act does not apply to materials used in the packaging of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, or dietary supplements or any equipment or materials used to manufacture pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, or dietary supplements.

Learn more about the Carryout Bag Fee from the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Is the fee subject to local sales tax?

The City of Greenwood Village has exempted the 10-cent fee from our local sales tax. If you have any questions, email Taxpayer Services or call 303-486-8299.

Who is required to collect the carryout bag fee?

House Bill 21-1162 applies to:

Large retail stores, including convenience stores, liquor stores, dry cleaners, pharmacies, drug stores, clothing stores, or other types of retail establishments at which carryout bags are traditionally provided to customers. It may also include farmers' markets, roadside markets/stands, festivals, or other temporary vendors.

The law does not apply to:

Small stores that operate solely in Colorado, have three or fewer locations in the State and are not part of a franchise, corporation, or partnership that has physical locations outside of Colorado.

Retail food establishments retail operations that store, prepare or package food for human consumption or serves/otherwise provides food for human consumption to consumers directly or through a delivery service, whether such food is consumed on or off the premises or whether there is a charge for such food.

What is a carryout bag?

A carryout bag means a bag that is provided to a customer at a store (at the point of sale) for use by the customer to transport or carry purchased items. 
Carryout bag does not include:

  • A bag made of paper when the paper has a basis weight of thirty pounds or less. 
  • A bag that a pharmacy provides to a customer purchasing prescription medication.
  • A laundry, dry cleaning, or garment bag.
  • A bag that a customer uses inside a store to:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods. 

When is the carryout bag fee due?

Payment of the bag fee is required on a quarterly basis, beginning with the first quarter of 2023. The fees are due on the 20th day of the month following the end of the quarter.  There is a link available in Xpress Bill Pay online payment portal to submit the fees. Stores may pay online using their existing tax identification number. Learn more about House Bill 23-1285.