Reps. Lisa Cutter of Dakota Ridge and Alex Valdez of Denver plan to sponsor the legislation in the Colorado General Assembly this year. The lawmakers said the legislation would pertain to plastic bags, like those that customers get from the grocery store, and plastic foam takeout containers from restaurants. Straws won’t be included.
The production of plastic releases toxic greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, said Hannah Collazo, state director of advocacy group Environment Colorado. “We see plastic litter our streets. We see plastic litter our public lands and our parks, but what we usually do not see is plastic’s impact on our climate,” Collazo said at a Feb. 9 virtual news conference announcing the upcoming bill. Collazo said Environment Colorado had collected 41,000 petition signatures from Coloradans across the state calling for more restrictions on single-use plastics.
While legislators have tried in the past to pass statewide restrictions on single-use plastics, this effort would go further by also allowing cities and counties to implement their own bans, as long as they are at least as strict as the state’s. “One of the main reasons I became a legislator was to leave the world a little better for our children,” Cutter said at the news conference. “My own children are concerned about the planet … Children shouldn’t have to carry that kind of worry.”