WASHINGTON - A measure that would have required stores to charge customers a 5-cent tax on paper bags and disposable plastic bags didn€™t pan out last week in the Virginia Legislature, although the bill€™s sponsors vow to bring it up again next year, reports the Washington Post.
"It might be dead this year, but I'll be back like a virus," said a bill sponsor, Del. Joe Morrissey. "I think it's something that really couldn't be more nonpartisan."
Another sponsor, Del. Adam Ebbin, said the bill was an effort to encourage consumers to change their behavior and cut down on waste. "The consumers would have a choice and if they chose to use the throwaway bags, they'd pay a very small fee. So this is certainly a choice," he said.
The Post notes that retailers would retain a penny of each bag fee, or two cents if the stores offer customer bag-credit programs. The revenues raised by the fee would go into the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund.
About this time last year, a 5-cent bag tax went into effect in Washington, D.C. City official claim that residents used about 270 million bags annually at grocery and convenience stores.
The Post writes that recent figures show that residents were on track to use about 80 percent fewer bags this year.
One Post reader, however, had this say: "One reason the use of bags is down in D.C. is that there's less shoppers. We buy all our groceries in VA. The so-called bag tax is bringing in less than half what it was estimated to. It€™s all garbage...Glad VA said 'up yours€™ to the environmental whack-jobs."