Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed a law that aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags and polystyrene products in the state.

The original version of the bill would have banned polystyrene boxes by next January and bags by next September.

The final agreed bill draft delays the enactment of the law for both materials to 2024.

An amendment has also been added that exempts local retailers, with three or fewer stores in the state and no out-of-state stores, from the ban. This is intended to reduce the ban’s financial burden on small businesses.

Retailers who will be affected by the ban must provide recycled paper bags, each available for a $0.10 fee, from 1 January 2023.

The majority of the revenue collected from plastic bag fees will be given to local governments.

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Colorado State Representative Lisa Cutter, the prime sponsor of the bill in the Colorado House of Representatives, said: “I’m thrilled to sponsor this landmark legislation.

“Plastic pollution is unsightly, unnecessary and a threat to human and animal health. It also plays a key role in human-caused climate change.

“We can and must be better stewards of our resources, and this is an important step forward.”

Colorado is the first US state to introduce a ‘state pre-emption’ law allowing local governments to enact their own fees and regulations on plastic and packaging products.

In April, Washington Governor Jay Inslee planned to sign into law a bipartisan bill that aims to ban several types of polystyrene used in food containers and increase the amount of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content used in packaging.

The ban covers peanuts, coolers and foodware and requires businesses not to provide single-use utensils, cups, lids and condiments unless they are requested by customers.

New York, New Jersey and Virginia have also passed bans on polystyrene in the last 16 months.