A week left until Steamboat bag ban kicks off: Shoppers should start wrangling reusable bags | SteamboatToday.com

A week left until Steamboat bag ban kicks off: Shoppers should start wrangling reusable bags

Free reusable bags available to households in Steamboat

The city is distributing free reusable bags to Steamboat Springs households.
Courtesy city of Steamboat Springs

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Round up your reusable bags. Starting Tuesday, Oct. 1, you’ll need to bring a reusable bag or pay 20 cents for a paper bag at Steamboat Springs’ largest grocery stores.

Steamboat’s plastic bag ban and paper bag fee will take effect next week at City Market, Safeway, Walmart and Walgreens. Other, smaller stores are anticipated to voluntarily participate in the ban and fee. People purchasing groceries with federal food assistance programs will be exempt from the paper bag fee.

Some area stores have already run out of the last of their plastic bags, meaning you’ll be receiving a paper bag if you don’t bring your own bag to Safeway and Walgreens.

Ahead of the bag ban, the city purchased 22,000 bags to distribute to residents and visitors.

This week, the city is mailing postcards with information about the upcoming bag ban and fee, as well as a coupon that can be redeemed for a free reusable bag at City Hall, 137 10th St., or the Combined Law Enforcement Facility, 2025 Shield Drive.

There are three available designs to choose from, focusing on agriculture, water and mountains. They were designed by local graphic artist Kaitlin Hollister. In a statement, she said she “wanted to capture the fun of the Yampa River, our mountain activities in both summer and winter and also recognize the ranching heritage that continues to be an important element of Steamboat today.”

Laura Sankey, who is overseeing community education and outreach for the city’s plastic bag ban, said the bags can withstand 20 washes and fold up into their own sacks. Durability, washability and price were considered when the city chose a supplier to provide the reusable bags.

“It’s super easy to keep in your car or if you carry a reasonably sized purse, it can go in your purse as well,” Sankey said.

To get those bags into the hands of visitors, the city is also making 13,600 bags available to lodging companies for purchase for $1.50 each with tax, with a minimum purchase of 100 bags. Some Steamboat area lodging companies already give guests reusable bags.

A total of 2,100 bags also will be donated to LiftUp of Routt County to support the Rocket Pack snack program for kids.

There will be a few other opportunities to get reusable bags. Soon, bag shares will start appearing at LiftUp, the office of the Routt County Department of Human Services and in area markets, stocked with bags made by area youth organizations including 4-H Clubs, the Boys and Girls Club and the city’s Afterschool Action program. 

Alpine Bank and the Always Mountain Time Network of radio stations are also giving out bags as part of a food drive for LiftUp. People can bring at least three nonperishable food items to Alpine Bank, Ace Hardware, Walmart or State Farm to receive a reusable bag.

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Elkstone Farm have themed bags available for a suggested $2 donation to support the Winter Sports Club’s Scholarship Fund.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.

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