New Year Resolutions: DC Slaps Tax on Paper, Plastic Bags

Posted: Jan 02, 2010 5:27 AM
Residents of the District of Columbia (including moi) will be digging even deeper in their pockets in the new year to pay for groceries at the local market.  The District of Columbia has officially become the first municipality in the U.S. to place fees on paper and plastics bags issued at checkout lanes--5 cents each to be exact. 

"I signed this law in July to cut down on the disposable bags that foul our waterways," said Mayor Adrian Fenty in a statement last month, saying that one particularly urban waterway, the city's Anacostia River, has been particularly befouled by the plastic shopping bags.

"Our research shows that plastic bags are a major component of the trash in the Anacostia River," said Maureen McGowan, interim director of the city's environment department.

"By taking disposable bags out of production and out of the waste stream, everyone who goes to the store can help keep the waters clean," McGowan said.

And Fenty noted that part of the money collected will be spent toward cleanup of the Anacostia.

Part of the money collected will be spent cleaning up the waterways... Where does the other part go?  Apparently to purchase more bags:

To prepare for the change, the city government has distributed some 122,000 reusable shopping bags to elderly and low-income residents who complain that their limited spending power will be further hampered by the levy.

I would just like to echo the sentiments of the American Chemistry Council in calling this new tax "misguided and unnecessary."

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