Silverthorne Town Council has no appetite for a plastic bag fee or ban |

Silverthorne Town Council has no appetite for a plastic bag fee or ban

SILVERTHORNE — Silverthorne Town Council has agreed not to move forward with a plastic bag fee or ban amid ongoing conversations on the topic in other Summit County municipalities. 

At the Town Council work session Wednesday, Oct. 14, Town Manager Ryan Hyland recapped the mayors and managers meeting at the beginning of the month, where Mayor Ann-Marie Sandquist said the single-use bag issue is not at the top of council’s list, largely due to COVID-19, and indicated the conversation is paused.

Council member Michael Spry asked the council to make a definitive decision and move on.

“Can we take a position and just say, ‘Hey, here’s what we’re going to do or not going to do’ versus just continuing to kick the can down the road?” Spry said.

Council member Kevin McDonald noted that it seemed no one was compelled to pursue a plastic bag fee or ban at a previous work session. Spry said he has “zero appetite to go down this path,” does not want to entertain a bag fee or ban, and wants to move on from the conversation. Council member Tanya Shattuck said she’d like to hear from other towns about how a bag fee or ban has gone for them. 

“I have no interest in pushing the bag ban forward, either, and I have no problem letting the other entities know that,” council member Derrick Fowler said. 

Council member Amy Manka agreed, saying she did not wish to ban plastic bags. Hyland noted that other Summit County towns that are moving forward with a ban plan to do so with or without countywide support.

As the issue stands now, Breckenridge plans to ban single-use plastic bags by next fall, Dillon plans to move forward with a ban though the timeline has not been decided, and Frisco has a 25-cent fee on paper and plastic disposable bags.

In other countywide environmental measures, all four towns passed the Summit Community Climate Action Plan. However, Silverthorne has not passed or reached a decision on the 2020 Summit Sustainable Building Code, which has been adopted by Summit County, Frisco, Dillon and Breckenridge

“It always kind of seemed like, ‘What next town was going to be able to try to trump the other one.’ … Doing crazy things with plastic bags, I just don’t want to get into that discussion on a regular basis,” Spry said. “Now that we’ve spoken, at least at this point, I think we can all just say we don’t want to see a lot of it on the agenda.”

“I think we’ve given direction to staff, next time that issue comes up, you know how we’re feeling,” McDonald said. 

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