Arlington’s Del. Adam Ebbin says he plans on introducing a bill that would impose a $0.05 fee on paper and plastic shopping bags, much like the current fee in place in the District.

Ebbin introduced the bill to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2009 and 2010, each time unsuccessful. He’s hoping for a different result in the upcoming 2011 legislative session.

If enacted into law, the bag fee would protect the environment, Ebbin said. Locally, he added, it would help make waterways like Four Mile Run cleaner.

When polled earlier this week, 52 percent of readers supported a bag fee or ban.

Here’s the legislative summary of Ebbin’s 2010 bill, the Virginia Waterways Clean Up and Consumer Choice Act.

Paper and plastic bag fee. Imposes a fee of $0.05 on paper and plastic bags used by purchasers to carry tangible personal property from the place of purchase. Durable, reusable plastic bags and bags used for ice cream, meat, fish, poultry, leftover restaurant food, newspapers, dry cleaning and prescription drugs are exempt from the fee. Retailers are allowed to retain $0.01 of the $0.05 fee or $0.02 if the retailer has a customer bag credit program. The revenues raised by the fee will be deposited in the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund. Failure to collect and remit the fee will result in fines of $250, $500, and $1,000 for the first, second, third and thereafter offenses.


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