Far fewer complaints five years into plastic bag ban

The use of plastic bags has sharply decreased in Aspen.

ASPEN, Colo. — Five years after Aspen banned disposable grocery bags, the ban seems to be working. City staff recently did a visual survey, and they found that 45 per cent of shoppers left the stores without using any bags, while 40 per cent took their own reusable bags for shopping. The remaining 15 percent bought paper bags at a cost of 20 cents each.
In comparison, in a grocery store located 20 miles down-valley from Aspen, where there is no ban, 74 per cent of shoppers used the disposable bags.

Might Aspen want to expand its ban? City staff said no, that eliminating the paper bags might make tourists cranky. And the plastic bags sold by other stores, such as for clothing, just aren’t that many.

A local grocery store manager interviewed for the report said customers initially reacted with anger to the bag-ban, but now he gets complaints only once every few weeks.