Is a $0.10 Bag Fee Really That Good For The Economy

Will the economy start to go up or down

Emma Phillips, Sports Editor

Grocery store bag fees can potentially lead to a decrease in consumer spending in several ways. The new 2023 “improvement” for Colorado is frustrating for several people overall. In 2021 the Colorado General Assembly enacted a House Bill. Beginning January 1, 2024 the act prohibits stores and retail food establishments from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. 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. 

Colorado now has an overall $0.10 bag fee at every grocery store. Coming from a personal and an overall opinion of these bag fees, I think it’s going to be a bad thing for the economy. First thing is the additional cost of buying bags can reduce the disposable income of consumers, potentially leading to less spending in other areas. This can have a negative effect on the economy as a whole. Yes it’s going to have people coming into stores with their own bags but for the first couple months, not everyone is going to remember to bring a bag.

Second, the increased cost of bags can lead to some customers opting to bring their own bags or not to buy bags at all, which can lead to a decrease in revenue for the grocery store. This can also lead to people just putting all of their groceries into their cart and people are going to take it as an advantage and an easier way to steal because no one will know since not everyone is going to have a plastic bag. This decrease in revenue can also lead to less investment and hiring by the store, which can negatively impact the local economy.

Third, if the cost of bags increases enough, it could lead to customers shopping less frequently or at other stores that do not charge for bags. This can be good and bad for small businesses as well. This can lead to a decrease in revenue for the grocery store and a decrease in overall spending in the local economy.

Lastly, the cost of implementing and maintaining a bag fee program can also be a burden for small businesses, which could negatively impact the economy. For example small businesses who have takeout and or carryout always put their boxes into bags. Coming from someone who works at a small owned restaurant, anytime someone asks for a box or has multiple boxes typically for bigger parties, we always ask if they want a bag because it just comes with good customer service. Now with these bag fees we are required to charge 10 cents a bag. Coming from a restaurant its very frustrating and annoying.

In certain situations it can be a good thing to certain things and bad things to certain circumstances.