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Plastic Bags for Environment, Parks?

Look to be charged five cents for every disposable paper or plastic carryout bag beginning January 1, 2010 in Washington, D.C.’s grocery and other retail stores. The resulting revenue will help pay for a new Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Fund.

Administered by the District’s Department of the Environment, the fund will use proceeds to educate the public about the impact of trash, to provide reusable bags to District residents, and to remove trash from the river. Says Mayor Adrian Fenty:

“Under this new law, the simple steps we take every day will result in a healthier Anacostia River…..Disposable bags are a menace to our waterways, and dramatically cutting down on their use will have a measurable impact almost immediately.”

While the new revenue does not directly fund parks, it will benefit the parkland along the river and the condition of the river itself. The charge is the first in the nation of its kind, and we may see similar efforts. Given the connection being made between plastic bags and the environment, parks could conceivably be a destination for such funds.

5 Responses

  1. This seems like an excellent idea…although I’m sure there are some screaming big brother at a program like this.

  2. It is a creative idea. It will be interesting to see if it catches on in other cities.

  3. Yes – its a bit hard to tell. We’ll see what happens.

  4. On the negative side, there is the social disruption of shopping bag antagonism and one-upmanship.

    See:

    http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/shopping-bag-warning/

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