The Arlington County Board appears likely to consider a tax on plastic shopping bags later this year.
At the Board’s Saturday meeting, a volunteer from the group EcoAction Arlington spoke in favor of a five-cent tax on plastic bags, similar to that which has been implemented in D.C. and other cities, during the public comment period.
In response, Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz noted that state authorization for such a tax — a five cent tax on plastic bags from grocery stores, convenience stores and drugstores — was recently signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam, but will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2021. In the meantime, county staff are “working on” a proposal to bring to the Board in the fall, he said.
“We look forward to having a conversation,” Schwartz said.
The volunteer, Whitney Beer-Kerr, said that a per-bag tax helps to cut down on such bags — which take centuries to decompose — winding up in waterways and landfills. Revenue from the tax can also be used on a variety of environmental initiatives.
On the other hand, a key alternative to plastic grocery bags — reusable shopping bags — are being discouraged by stores for employee health reasons during the pandemic. And Schwartz said that charging extra money for plastic bags could raise “equity questions.”
Paper bags, however, remain a viable and more environmentally-friendly alternative, County Board member Katie Cristol said during the meeting.
What do you think?
Get inspired around a campfire to imagine and act to create a climate-solved future February 12 with hot chocolate and s’mores.
A 5 BD/5 BA home located at 6301 23rd Street N. with a private den and expansive yard is Today’s Listing of the Day.
This week was yet another filled with plenty of news about snow, but unlike previous January weeks not a lot of actual snow. Using its last traditional snow day allotment,…
The Diocese of Arlington is advising Catholic schools to follow Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) executive order exempting families from school-based mask mandates. One of Youngkin’s first acts in office was…