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Pets, plastics and compostables: New Colorado laws go into effect next Monday

Several new laws that have wide reaching impacts will go into effect on January 1, 2024
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Posted at 5:41 AM, Dec 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-26 10:35:34-05

DENVER — From pet rent to no more plastic bags, there are big changes ahead with new laws going into effect in Colorado on January 1, 2024

We're a state filled with pet lovers, many of whom are renters as well.

When HB23-1068 goes into effect, there will be more protections for renters with pets, including limiting the amount landlords can collect from the tenants.

The additional pet deposit will be capped at $300, which must be refundable. If a landlord chooses to charge pet rent monthly, it cannot exceed $35 a month, or 1.5% of the monthly rent, whichever is higher.

It's a relief for pet parents on a budget, but some landlords have told our Denver news partner it will likely create challenges for them and might have unintended consequences on housing availability if landlords decide to not allow pets at all, or include their personal preferences in the total cost of rent.

While several communities across the Denver metro are still temporarily banning anything going into the compost bin with the exception of food scraps and yard trimmings, starting on Jan. 1 there will be strict rules enforced for labeling of products as 'compostable.'

When something that isn't fully compostable is in a batch of organic material meant to be composted, it can contaminate the entire batch, causing a waste of time and money for compost manufacturers who have to send contaminated batches to the land fill which could have an environmental impact.

When SB23-253 fully goes into effect, a producer of a product that is not certified compostable is prohibited from using words, phrases, coloring or labeling of any kind that could confuse a consumer into believing it is compostable.

There's particular focus on products that have any amount of plastic in them from having labeling that imply that the plastic will break down or biodegrade.

Also on the first, the next phase of Colorado's plastic bag ban takes effect. The next step for HB21-1162 is that stores will no longer have plastic bags at all. They will only offer recyclable paper bags which will still be 10 cents each.

Any retail food establishment that still has styrofoam containers can use up what's in their stock, but after that, those containers will be banned too.

Businesses that don't comply can face up to $500 in fines for a second violation and up to $1,000 in fines for a third and subsequent violation.