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DC City Council Takes on Pollution (and Waste)

March 27, 2009

The Washington Post has an editorial today supporting legislation to add 5 cent “tax” for the use of bags at stores.  Essentially, you pay 5 cents per bag if you don’t bring your own.  As the editorial points out, some stores do this already.  They don’t point out that lots of stores in Europe do this successfully, as well.  I’m all for it, given that the law has provisions to help low income residents by giving them free reusable bags and has a built in time to educate the public before the law takes effect.

ELEVEN OF the 13 members of the D.C. Council are endorsing legislation that would place the District in the forefront of national efforts to reduce local pollution. The proposal is a creative attempt to discourage the use of plastic and paper bags that end up littering the areas roads and waterways. But it faces some fierce opposition…

…In truth, there really is no such thing as a free bag. The cost of bags is built into the prices consumers pay for food. And they pay again — to the tune of $50 million a year in the District — to pick up litter and trash, including a lot of plastic bags. Council members will hold a public hearing on the bill Wednesday, and they should keep an open mind to modifications needed to deal with reasonable concerns of affected stakeholders. But council members should not back away from this sensible proposal.


One Comment leave one →
  1. debbie permalink
    March 27, 2009 10:25 am

    The reuseable bags hold more and don’t spill your purchases all over the ground when they break. At a local health food store in Maine, you can borrow a reuseable bag if you don’t have one and return it on your next visit. Stores should be doing all they can to encourage the change to reuseable –

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