Disposable Bag Fee
In early 2019, the 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 the Imagine Winter Park initiative to develop a new Town Plan. Starting July 1, 2019, a disposable plastic bag fee of $0.20 per bag will be imposed.
Retailers and food stores will retain 40% of the fees collected ($0.08 per bag) to offset expenses associated with the fee implementation. The Town will collect 60% of the fees ($0.12 per bag) to mitigate the effects of the bags through education on efforts, funding for programs to reduce waste, contributions to “The Drop” in Fraser, etc.
A few exceptions to the fee include:
- Temporary food vendors at farmer’s markets and other temporary 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.
- 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 this new fee are required to display signs and messages about the change before it begins. Below are materials businesses can download and print to display.
The Town will also provide businesses with some reusable bags that can be given out to customers as the fee takes effect. An order form for bags will be available soon.
Plastic bags are produced from non-renewable resources and are very difficult to recycle. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, so they remain as litter in the environment. Since the community identified building a “healthy & thriving environment” as a top priority during the Imagine Winter Park initiative, this fee will help mitigate the problems caused by plastic bags and create a more sustainable community.