Seven major policies going into effect in Colorado on January 1st

Media Contacts
Alexandra Simon

Former Public Health Advocate, CoPIRG

DENVER – Starting January 1, seven major policies are going into effect in Colorado that will protect public health, reduce waste and expand protections for consumers. The policies include a first-of-its-kind state tax credit for electric lawn equipment, an increase to the state’s electric vehicle tax credit, the phaseout of PFAS from some consumer products, a ban on single-use plastic bags from retailers and polystyrene containers and cups from restaurants, Right to Repair for farmers, truth-in-labeling requirements for compostable products and new data privacy protections for Coloradans online.

“The new year brings new protections for the health, safety and well being for Coloradans and our communities,” said Danny Katz, CoPIRG Foundation executive director. “Thanks to the leadership of a number of legislators and Governor Polis, we’ve got a lot to celebrate in 2024.”

The new laws going into effect January 1 include:

  • An additional $2,500 tax credit for purchasing electric vehicles – In addition to the already existing $5,000 tax credit for most electric vehicles (EVs), Coloradans can save an additional $2,500 on eligible EVs, which are cleaner to drive and cheaper to fuel and operate than gas-powered vehicles. Colorado’s tax credit will be one of the most generous EV tax credits in the country.
  • A new 30% discount on electric lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, and snow blowers – Gas-powered lawn equipment is noisy and produces a shocking amount of pollution. This credit will help reduce pollution, especially during ozone season. Consumers can simply show up at participating retailers and enjoy a 30% discount on electric lawn equipment without having to file any paperwork.
  • A ban on single-use plastic bags from retailers and polystyrene cups and to-go containers from food establishments – By eliminating these single-use items, Colorado will be able to significantly reduce waste. CoPIRG estimates Coloradans went through 4.6 million bags and 1.2 million polystyrene cups every day before the pandemic.
  • New protections for farmers to fix their tractors – As more of our stuff, including tractors and combines, run on software, manufacturers are able to lock us out, undermining the repair marketplace and leading to longer delays and inflated repair bills. Colorado’s new first-in-the-nation law will require manufacturers of agricultural equipment to provide Colorado farmers and ranchers access to the tools, parts, diagnostics and software they need to fix their equipment.
  • Elimination of PFAs or forever chemicals in certain consumer productsPFAS are a class of chemicals that are specially engineered to be resistant to both heat and water and they are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they build up over time in our ecosystems and bodies. Colorado’s ban in January will cover carpets, rugs, fabric treatments, food packaging, juvenile products and oil and gas products. It also requires companies to disclose on cookware product labels if it contains PFAS.
  • New label standards to reduce misleading information that a product may be compostable – Due to the rise in contamination, partly from look-a-like products that are not compostable, local composting facilities have scaled back what they are willing to accept reducing Coloradans ability to compost instead of throwing something in the trash. Better labeling will help consumers know what’s not compostable and reduce contamination in our compost stream.
  • New tools for consumers to opt out of companies collecting your data online – As part of the Colorado Privacy Act, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office will publish a list of tools you can install on your computers or phones to universally opt out of data sales and targeted ads when you visit websites. Starting July 1, 2024, every time you visit a website, that opt out signal tells the website operator not to touch your data.

“In the new year, it’s easier to switch to an electric vehicle and replace your gas-powered lawn mower with a quieter, cleaner model. Colorado will have fewer products with dangerous PFAS chemicals and less single-use plastics that pollute our waterways and litter our communities. Finally, new protections will ensure farmers can fix their equipment, new labeling standards will reduce confusion on what is compostable and consumers can explore new tools to help them protect their data online,” said Katz.