For the last nine months, getting a plastic bag to carry home your groceries, lunch or liquor store purchase has run you an extra nickel on your final bill. As a report from the Wall Street Journal indicates this morning, that small tax seems to have reduced the amount of times people are answering, “Plastic,” (subscription required) while in the checkout line:
A staff member for the councilman who sponsored the bill, Democrat Tommy Wells, said an informal survey of corporate headquarters for grocery stores and pharmacies with dozens of locations in the city estimated a reduction of 60% or more in the number of bags handed out.
The five-cent levy goes to a fund to clean up Washington’s Anacostia River. Through the end of July, the city collected more than $1.1 million from the bag fee and small donations. At that rate, receipts are likely to fall short of the expected $3.6 million in the first year. Some city officials say that suggests more people than expected are bringing their own bags to stores.
There are some places you don’t mind falling short on reaching a tax budget, if the number is related to an increased use of reusable bags, fantastic.