Avon businesses prepare for May 1 plastic bag ban | VailDaily.com

Avon businesses prepare for May 1 plastic bag ban

Rene Gutierrez at Taqueria No Se Hagan Bolas grabs a plastic bag from the restaurant's last remaining bundle. In front of the plastic bags, a stack of paper bags is already in place for ban on plastic bags, which goes into effect on Tuesday, May 1.

AVON — An owner of Pizza One in Traer Creek Plaza met with Town of Avon employees last week to ready for the town-wide plastic bag ban going into effect on Tuesday, May 1.

He left the meeting with a free bundle of reusable bags to give to customers, provided by the town in partnership with Alpine Bank.

"We wanted to make sure we knew how it was going to work," Pizza One co-owner Tony Chalakov said of the bag ban. "They want us to charge 10 cents for paper bags, so people understand the idea."

Yes, Avon's plastic bag ban comes with a mandatory charge on paper bags, which retailers will not be permitted to absorb.

"The 10 cent charge must be collected," according to the rules outlined on avon.org/bags. "For this reason, the number of paper bags provided and the amount of 10 cent charges must be shown on the customer's sales slip."

Pizza One is now ready to charge the 10 cent fee with the push of a button, once they run out of free reusable bags. It's a level of preparedness not shared by several other businesses in town.

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"It's a little more difficult for us, saying bring your own bag if you want two liters of Coke or you're going to get charged," Chalakov said. "But we understand, it's to deincentivize using a new bag."

TOWN-WIDE

The plastic bag ban will apply to all retailers in Avon.

And Avon has all variety of retailers, from City Market and Walmart, which give away millions of plastic bags per year in town, to the Haute Route outdoor shop, which only uses paper bags and ran out altogether for a few months last season without anyone seeming to notice or care.

Light duty plastic bags — found by the roll in produce isles at grocery stores — will still be available.

Businesses have had months to get ready, and several shops have timed it well.

At Taqueria No Se Hagan Bolas, only a few dozen plastic bags were remaining in the restaurant as of Saturday, April 28.

"We have been using paper already too if someone wants," said Rene Gutierrez. "It's expensive, but we have to do it."

HAVE A NICE DAY

In nearby Vail, a plastic bag ban has been in effect for years, however it only applies to the grocery stores.

In passing Avon's bag ban, which applies to all retailers, the town council considered the opinion of City Market manager Jeff Gentilini.

Gentilini said if the plastic bag ban only applies to grocery stores, then grocery stores get the blame for the ban from customers.

"In Vail, they promised in the next year, the next phase, to apply (the plastic bag ban) to the rest of the businesses in town, and it still hasn't happened," Gentilini said in September, as Avon was considering the bag ban.

Jerry Calderon, who works the register at Beaver Liquors in Avon, said it makes sense that if a grocery store is subject to a plastic bag ban, a liquor store would be too.

Beaver Liquors was down to their final stack of classic "Have a nice day" yellow smiley face bags on Saturday, April 28. Calderon has been telling the regulars to get ready for the ban.

"If I know it's someone who comes in often I'll mention it to them if I remember," he said. "Just trying to raise awareness a bit."