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COVID-19: Is it ok to use my reusable bags, mugs, cups right now?
Typically, clean reusable bags, mugs, water bottles and cups are perfectly ok to bring to the grocery store or your favorite coffee shop. Due to COVID-19, Governor Polis has requested that people discontinue using their reusable bags at grocery stores and many coffee shops are no longer accepting reusable mugs or cups. This is out of an abundance of caution in this exceptional time.
What are single-use plastics, macro-plastics, and microplastics?
Single-use plastics are plastic items that are designed to be used once and then discarded. They include plastic bags, straws, plastic utensils, plastic take-out containers, plastic cups, Styrofoam, coffee stirrers, and other common items.
Macroplastics are plastic objects or pieces that are larger than 5mm (about the size of the sesame seed). Macroplastics found in the environment are often single-use plastic items.
Microplastics are plastic particles smaller than 5mm (smaller than a sesame seed) that can come from a variety of sources. Some are actually produced to be that small and are used in products like personal care products or clothing. Other microplastics begin as larger plastic items (macroplastics) and degrade into microplastics over time.
How can I reduce the amount of single-use plastic I use?
1. Check out the checklist in the documents library to transition your household to be "Reuse Friendly - River Friendly".
2. Share your story with the City and other community members.
Why can't I just recycle my single-use plastic items?
Most single-use plastic items cannot be recycled. Typically these items are made of low quality plastic material that is not desirable in the international recyclables market.
The following plastics can be recycled locally:
Certain plastics, like plastic grocery bags can be specially recycled when dropped off at specific locations, but they SHOULD NEVER be placed in curbside recycling or used to bag recyclable items before placing them in the recycling bin.
Can't plastic bags be recycled?
Plastic grocery bags and other plastic film (produce bags, bread bags, dry-clean bags, air pillows, bubble wrap, etc.) can be recycled at most grocery stores, big box, stores, and other local drop-off locations. However, they SHOULD NEVER be placed in curbside recycling or be used to bag recyclable items before placing them into the recycling bin.
Plastic bags and plastic film cause major issues at recycling sorting plants, tangling in recycling equipment and causing it to jam and break. Be sure to recycle your plastic grocery bags and other plastic film, just not in curbside recycling!
How can my business reduce the amount of single-use plastic trash it generates?
1. Check out the checklist in the documents library to transition your business to a "Reuse Friendly - River Friendly" operation.
2. Share your story with the City and other businesses.