FEDERAL LEGISLATION CALLS FOR 5-CENT BAG TAX

U.S. Rep. Jim Moran introduced a measure that would put a tax on plastic and paper bags given out at all retail locations, including convenience stores.
April 26, 2013


WASHINGTON – If Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) gets his way, paper or plastic will have a 5-cent fee at the checkout line. Moran introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would put a nickel tax on plastic and paper bags distributed at supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail shops, the Sun-Gazette reports.

Fee revenue would be earmarked for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. “Small steps, like replacing plastic bags with reusable ones, [yield] large returns in reducing the amount of trash we create,” said Moran in a statement. “The results of this waste can be found in our oceans, now home to floating landfills 10 times the size of Virginia.”

Moran modeled his measure on the District of Columbia’s tax on plastic bags, which was enacted in 2009. Moran’s bill is the first one that would impose such a fee on bags in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The representative said he wanted to lower the use of plastic bags in the United States.

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and California are considering banning plastic bags. A plastic bag ban recently went into effect in Austin, Texas, while Sacramento’s proposed ban is moving forward.

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