City Desk

Two Years Without Plastic Bags

Since Jan. 1, 2010, businesses in the District that sell food or alcohol have been required to charge 5 cents for each paper or plastic disposable bag. The Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act of 2009, or the "bag law," has been in effect for two years, but many D.C. shoppers don't like it or don't understand how it works. Here's a graphical look at the tax:


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  • @SamuelMoore

    1.) Raiding the "special dedicated fund" has already been attempted to pay for street sweeping... We'll see what happens this next budget cycle.

    2.) I'd be surprised if the inspector could actually tell me the rules around who should, and who shouldn't charge the "fee".

  • Wrack

    1) Lots of things get attempted. For example, Herman Cain attempted to become the president.

    2) One way to find out, Sam.

  • Keith B.

    If a business sells any kind of food (even gum) or booze, they charge. If they don't, they don't.


  • B

    My only complaint is that you can't buy a soda at the Home Depot anymore (it was easier to eliminate the few "food" items they sold than to charge for bags, I assume). I always felt like getting work done around the house entitled me to some caffeine & corn syrup.

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  • friend of the bag cop

    Hey Sam,
    I happen to know the inspector, and she definitely could tell you the rules. F.Y.I.

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  • imitation bags

    I have a hard time remembering to take my reusable shopping bags with me to the grocery store

  • Scatter-brained

    I forget things all the time, and one way I've come up with to make sure I have a bag when I need it is to just keep some in the car at all times. I keep an extra pack of diapers in the trunk (14 mo. baby contributes to my poor memory!), I have three or four deodorants in various places so I'll have one around if I forget, I write down any shopping lists immediately as I think of what works for you. It's not too hard once you get the hang of it.

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