Avon takes first steps toward banning plastic bags, Styrofoam could follow | VailDaily.com

Avon takes first steps toward banning plastic bags, Styrofoam could follow

AVON — If you like reusing those free plastic bags from the grocery store, then you may want to start stockpiling them now. The Avon Town Council on Tuesday directed town staff to draft an ordinance which would ban plastic bags in town in a similar effort to that undertaken by the town of Vail in 2015. The council is expected to vote on a first reading of the ordinance at its May 23 meeting.

Before the ban would go into effect, two readings of the ordinance and a break-in period would have to take place.

No one spoke out against the effort at Tuesday's meeting.

Local Maria DeSimone is helping the town compile materials used in drafting the ordinance.

"Vail had an estimation on how many bags they used at one million, per year, that's between Safeway and City Market, and when they implemented the bag ban … that went down substantially to 300,000 paper bags with a 10-cent fee," DeSimone said on Tuesday. "Twenty percent of (fees collected) went toward what it cost the grocery stores to implement that, and the remaining 80 percent went to the town of Vail to really reach out to the community and aid support in making that happen by donating bags free of charge."

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The fact that Vail already put a bag ban into effect would likely soften the blow for Avon residents, the council agreed.

"If you shop in Vail, ever, you're already carrying around reusable grocery bags," council member Matt Gennett said Tuesday.

Regardless, Avon plans to perform significant outreach to the community, which would include reusable bag giveaways similar to the 30,000 bags that were given away in Vail throughout the course of the past two years.

"If we're going to ban the plastic bags, we have to at least have together a vision and a budget for re-usuable bags," council member Amy Phillips said. "We can then team up with the various properties that have guests that stay with them that also go to the grocery story, which is basically any unit with a kitchen."

Following closely behind the bag ban, the council directed staff to look into drafting an ordinance that would ban Styrofoam containers used by restaurants. The council requested more time on that action, however, to reach out to local restaurants.

Avon would be the first town in Colorado to implement a Styrofoam ban, Town Manager Virginia Egger told the council.

Mayor Jennie Fancher said she wanted to immediately start the restaurant outreach regarding Styrofoam.

"Styrofoam is bad for you," she said. "It's bad even to have your food in it."