Bring Your Own Bag! |

Bring Your Own Bag!

summit daily news

The Colorado Association of Ski Town’s Bring Your Own Bag Challenge, originally set to begin Feb. 1, has been delayed one month to give towns more time for planning.

Summit County will compete as one community against as many as 24 other ski towns in a contest to reduce plastic-bag use from March 1 through Sept. 1.

The association pushed back the start date because of the bigger-than-anticipated response, said Carly Wier, executive director for High Country Conservation Center.

Summit County towns will be joining together to compete against Steamboat Springs, Aspen, Telluride, Eagle County (as one entity) and even ski towns outside of Colorado.

The message of the ski-town contest is a personal challenge to each family, person and visitor to give up single-use plastic bags in favor of reusable multi-use bags, organizers say.

Contest preparation begins in Summit County as the Plastic Bag Reduction Act , a bill sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Veiga and Rep. Joe Miklosi, both Denver Democrats, has been introduced in the state capitol to phase out plastic-bags use over three years at the biggest retailers in Colorado.

Veiga pointed out that reusable cloth bags can be found as little as $1 each.

“As far as a timeline, the next step in its process (for passing the bill) will be a committee hearing on Feb. 11,” Veiga said in an e-mail.

A reusable-bag contest likely will show whether such a measure would be viable in ski towns across the state.

Local results of the disposable-bag contest will be tallied by the total number of reusable bags that are brought to a store. Grocery stores will use its five-cent refund to track reusable-bag use.

The Outlets at Silverthorne and Target also have agreed to participate, so they’ll have to come up with another way to track bags, Wier said. Small stores will keep hand tallies.

“I encourage people to get their reusable bags out of their closets and ready to go,” Wier said. “And start telling their neighbors.”

The conservation center is taking over administrative duties for all of the towns in the county, and it’s currently working on promotions for the six-month contest. Elementary schools in Summit County will participate in marketing.

To get involved, contact High Country Conservation Center at (970) 668-5703.

The Rocky Mountain News contributed to this article.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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