Being one of the best ski resorts in the US, Breckinridge attracts up to 1 million visitors annually. Making it a unique feature among mountain towns, the town itself is charming & easily walkable. The mountain, which consists of 5 peaks & boasts the highest chairlift in North America, reaching almost 13, 000 feet, is the main attraction in Breckinridge. Emphasizing its close proximity to the slopes, the locals often describe the entire ton as “ski in, ski out”.
The Town Council of Breckinridge recently passed an ordinance aimed at reducing single-use plastics in the town. There is an alignment of the goals outlined in the SustainableBreck Plan, adopted in 2022. & the ordinance of Breckinridge, as the Plan focuses on climate action, water conservation, mobility, clean energy, & material management. One can access the full SustainableBreck Plan for further details on the town’s long-term sustainability objectives. Mandating the elimination of plastic bags & Styrofoam statewide by 2024, the Colorado General Assembly passed a bill in 2021, HB- 21- 1162.
The ordinance of Breckinridge is designed to comply with the regulations established in that bill. Owing to its dedicated community & innovative initiatives, Breckenridge stands out as one of the most sustainable tourist destinations in the country. One such initiative is Precious Plastics which gives unrecyclable plastic a second life & even created an art piece named Isak Heartstone using recycled materials. Another community-led effort that encourages children to adopt sustainable practices & Leave No Traceis The Treehugger Challenge.
A requirement by the new ordinance is that customers have to opt in for single-use utensils & condiments at retail food establishments. With 60% of the collected fee going to the town & 40% to the stores for specific purposes, it also increases the fee for recycled carry-out bags to be 100% recyclable. Restaurants will no longer be permitted to use polythene containers from January 1, 2024,& starting from July 1, 2024, other single-use plastic containers will be prohibited. The sale of Of single-use plastic water bottles smaller than one gallon will be banned in all businesses, effective from July 1, 2024.
There is a provision for prohibiting the sale of single-use plastic water bottles & service ware in any Breckenridge facility, park, or permitted special event, in addition. The Breckenridge Town organized a business round table on April 11 to inform the community about the upcoming changes. The public will get an opportunity at the round table to voice their concerns & provide feedback on future plastic reduction efforts. Requiring RSVP to attend the round table, interested individuals can register through the provided link. The Director of community affairs, Tessa Broderbund emphasizes the community’s commitment to preserving nature for tutored generations & encourages everyone to enjoy the town with intention. Breckenridge residents & visitors share a common goal of ensuring future generations can connect with nature & enjoy its offerings. The plastic reduction efforts of the town reflect a collective desire to protect the environment & promote sustainability.
Breckenridge aims to set an example for other sky resorts facing climate change challenges, through initiatives like the ordinance & community-driven program. In order to inform businesses & the community about the forthcoming changes, the town staff is dedicated to welcoming a smooth transition. Breckenridge takes a significant step towards reducing its environmental impact & fostering a more sustainable future by implementing these measures.