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Posted at 10:02 AM ET, 01/15/2010

On D.C.'s bag tax: Seeing is believing

By editors

By Philip Latasa

Regarding Bryan Dierlam’s post complaining about the D.C. plastic bag tax.

Mr. Dierlam is to be applauded for his responsible reuse of plastic bags, but it takes little observation to realize that many others are utterly irresponsible. I invite Mr. Dierlam to join the annual volunteer Potomac Watershed Cleanup in April to see firsthand just how many plastic bags (and other trash items) end up in all our waterways.

As for downstate Virginia not being interested in controlling plastic bags, downstate legislators have, in fact, attempted to keep discarded plastic bags from contaminating Virginia cotton crops, only to be pushed back by retailers.

The writer is a member of Friends of Accotink Creek.

By editors  | January 15, 2010; 10:02 AM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, environment  
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If this was truly about keeping bags out of the river, then the city would give me 5 cents for every plastic bag I return to the grocery store. This is how can re-cycling is encouraged in many states. That will keep my bags out of the river. Instead, I'll be shopping in virginia and maryland and carrying my free plastic bags into dc.

Posted by: smahayes | January 16, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

All that is required to avoid the tax is to buy or bring a few reusable bags. Some (I mean most) people are so selfish and downright contrary to anything. Geezus! We've been doing this for a couple of years now after learning about the humongous convergence zones in the Pacific Ocean.

Posted by: johng1 | January 17, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately, I rarely have to go into DC, so this won't affect me. However, a bag tax ignores how many of the bags are recycled as garbage bags (that is what happens to mine). I do not have to buy purpose made garbage bags, which come at a severe environmental cost, since they are generally heavy plastic. I am sure the overwhelming majority of shopping bags are disposed of appropriately. Yes, I have no doubt there are some down by the river, but you can't avoid paying the environmental cost of what people will use to replace shopping bags as garbage bags.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 17, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

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