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D.C. Stores Issue Fewer Bags After Bag Tax

1 min readBy: Justin Higginbottom

It is being reported that D.C.’s bag taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. is working:

The District’s 5-cent bag tax generated about $150,000 during the month of January to help clean up the Anacostia River, even though residents have dramatically scaled back their use of disposable bags, according a report city officials issued Monday.

… District officials had estimated that the tax would generate about $10 million during the next four years for environmental initiatives. The money will be sent to the newly created Anacostia River Cleanup Fund, which will spend it on various projects.

But in January, the tax only generated $149,432, suggesting that the bag tax might fall short of revenue projections.

That is a good thing if you want people to use fewer store-provided bags, not a good thing if you want the Anacostia River Cleanup Fund to be flush with cash. I would be interested to see if there was a resultant increase in purchased bags in the city. That reportedly happened in Ireland after their bag tax. I can say that after being unable to bear paying five cents per bag my home stockpile of lunch bags has been slowly running out.