Did You Bring Your Bags Today?

Earlier this year, Winter Park Town Council moved towards its goal of building a more sustainable community by approving a fee for retailers and grocery stores that use single-use plastic bags. Creating a “healthy & thriving environment” was identified as a primary vision for the future through Imagine Winter Park, the newly adopted Town Plan. Starting July 1, 2019, a disposable plastic bag fee of $0.20 per bag will be imposed in Winter Park.

Retailers and food stores will retain 40% of the fees collected ($0.08 per bag) to offset expenses associated with fee implementation. The Town will collect 60% of the fees ($0.12 per bag) to mitigate the effects of the bags through education, programs to reduce waste, contributions to “The Drop” recycling center in Fraser, etc.

A few exceptions to the fee include:

  • Temporary food vendors at farmer’s markets and other events
  • Restaurants or other businesses (such as salons or spas) where retail sales are clearly a secondary activity
  • Customers participating in a federal or state food assistance program
  • Fee does not apply to produce bags or other bags used for bulk items, meats, baked goods, flowers, prescriptions, liquor sleeves, etc.

“Through Imagine Winter Park we heard that sustainability is a priority for those in our community,” said Mayor Jimmy Lahrman. “Implementing this fee gets us one step closer to our goals and helps us follow a trend that other mountain communities, such as Fraser, Aspen and Telluride, are setting.”

Town Council will review the ordinance in July 2020 after the fee has been in place for one year and determine if any adjustments need to be made.

Resources for Businesses

Businesses affected by the new fee are required to display signs and messages about the changes before it begins. Businesses can find some sample communication materials to display at www.wpgov.com/312/Disposable-Bag-Fee.