According to a statement, since the program went into effect, The Market at Mountain Village has reduced the number of bags it distributes by 72 percent – or 129,900 less bags.
Pursuant to a resolution passed by Mountain Village Town Council in July 2012 establishing The Town of Mountain Village Disposable Plastic Bag Reduction Program, shoppers who bring their own bags will be rewarded with a 25 cent credit per bag, while those who need a bag will pay 25 cents for each bag the store provides.
“The program started after we were approached by the Town of Telluride and David Allen to impose bag regulations in Mountain Village similar to those in Telluride. But it was our own town council that decided to make it a voluntary measure instead of a strict governmental mandate,” explained Environmental Services Director Deanna Drew. “I believe we are the only town in the nation that actually monitors the progress of this bag-reduction program, and keeps track of how many bags are kept from the waste stream on an annual basis. In 2009 we adopted a ‘zero waste or darn close’ goal. This is part of how we’re striving to meet that goal.”
According to the language in the resolution, the program is “a cooperative program between the Town of Mountain Village, the Grocery Stores, and the Retail Merchants. The Program supports the Town’s goal of Zero Waste and is a step toward a significant reduction of plastic bags in the town’s waste stream starting with the grocers and eventually including all merchants.”
The resolution sets out program requirements, allowing grocers and retail merchants to collect a fee for each bag provided to shoppers and including provisions for installing visible signage about the program; providing reusable bags for sale; supporting the Zero Waste Task Force in its development of a commercial composting facility for the community; and ensuring that both grocers and merchants “shall be recognized and celebrated publicly in Town communication vehicles for their voluntary participation.”