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Will 2020 be the year Colorado bans plastic bags, Styrofoam and other single-use plastics?

Tamara Chuang and Moe Clark, Colorado Sun
Environmental advocates littered the steps of the state Capitol on Feb. 28, 2019, to show the mess that disposable plastic bags can make. (Tamara Chuang, The Colorado Sun)

The Town of Avon did something daring in January: It banned expanded polystyrene food containers, a.k.a. Styrofoam.

The move made the town the first community in Colorado to forbid such take-out food containers, which don’t do well in microwaves — or with trash recyclers.

But it also put them at odds with an obscure state law that prevents cities and towns from banning plastics. Avon’s Ordinance No. 19-11 wasn’t completely brazen, though. It was contingent on whether state lawmakers could overturn the 30-year-old statute.

A bill to repeal local preemption failed to make it out of a Senate committee last week.

Now the town is counting on a different measure. House Bill 1162 would also ban polystyrene, but at the state level. It also has the blessing — or at least no opposition — of some of the groups that opposed rolling back the preemption. 

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.


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