The disposable plastic bags that remain ubiquitous at grocery and convenience stores could soon be subject to a five-cent tax in Fairfax County.
Under an ordinance proposed by county staff, the tax would be imposed on grocery, convenience, and drugstore retailers, rather than their customers. There would be some exceptions, including:
- Plastic bags designed for reuse
- Bags exclusively used to wrap meat, produce, and other perishable food items to avoid damage or contamination
- Bags used to carry prescription drugs or dry cleaning
- Bags sold in packages for garbage or other kinds of waste disposal
Building off of legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly in April 2020, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted on July 14 to direct staff to draft the ordinance, which would take effect on Jan. 1, 2022 if adopted.
Proponents of the measure on the board argued that imposing a tax will incentivize individuals and retailers to use fewer disposable plastic bags, which generally wind up in landfills or as litter that can be harmful to the environment.
Revenue from the plastic bag tax could be used to fund environmental cleanup programs, education on reducing waste, pollution and litter mitigation programs, and reusable bags for food assistance benefit recipients, according to the state law.
Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, the lone board member to oppose drafting the ordinance, took issue with the idea of introducing a new tax in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Past research also suggests paper bags and reusable cotton bags require more carbon emissions to manufacture than disposable plastic ones, so they need to be reused a lot to be more environmentally friendly.
The timing of the ordinance is important, since the state law lets retailers retain two cents of the imposed tax to offset the cost of changing their operations until Jan. 1, 2023, at which point the discount shrinks to just one cent.
Community members will get their first chance to weigh in on the proposed tax at a public hearing scheduled for the Board of Supervisors’ upcoming meeting on Tuesday (Sept. 14). Speakers can register to deliver testimony in person, by phone or video, or in writing.
Photo via Takoma Park/Flickr
A&J Restaurant in Annandale (file photo) Seven restaurants in Fairfax County are part of this year’s Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants list. The restaurants that earned a coveted spot include:…
The upcoming Wolf Trap season will include a tribute to Studio Ghibli fillms by the National Symphony Orchestra, led by composer Joe Hisaishi (photo by Dan Aulsebrook) A preview of…
Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected] The…
A proposed redevelopment of the West Falls Church Metro station property (via Fairfax County) The nearly 24-acre, mixed-use development planned for the West Falls Church Metro station will come with…
Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.
He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.
The Rhea Baker State Farm Agency is proud to support Shelter House in providing safe places to be during quarantine. Shelter House’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence. Right now they are providing over 200 hotel rooms to those in need in our community. In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served nearly 500 households comprised of over 1,500 individuals, 60% of which were children.
Of the households that exited shelter, over 70% moved to permanent housing. The Baker Agency has served Vienna and Tysons residents and business owners since 2007 and proudly offers insurance solutions for you home, condo, auto insurance, life insurance and more. We offer complimentary reviews and coach teen drivers to safer, better drivers, and to help keep your auto insurance rates down! We are always happy to talk or text at 703-847-6880.