It’s barely weeks into 2014, but Virginia’s state assembly already has a bill that would allow districts in the northern part of the commonwealth to impose a tax on disposable (i.e. single-use) bags as long as they notify the tax agency about the plan. If this bill became law, it would create a situation similar to Washington, D.C., where a tax is in place to encourage the adoption of reusable shopping bags
Local environmental groups celebrated the dramatic decline in use of plastic bags after the D.C. tax went into effect. Additionally, since the money collected is used to restore the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, any time consumers use a plastic bag they contribute to the environment’s greater good. It’s one solution that has a benefit when people choose either way to bring home a few items from the grocery or drug store.
The main objective is to get people to think about the choice of using a plastic bag, which lasts for thousands of years, rather than choosing reusable shopping bags, which guarantees thousands of uses. Plus, customized grocery bags
don’t add to the growing pile of waste in landfills, oceans and rivers in the area. Until people confront the impact of small decisions such as what bags to use in a grocery store, laws of this nature will be the environment’s best defense against runaway waste and pollution.
A solution many D.C. area store owners have used is ordering customized grocery bags. Why wait until a law bans plastic bags? What is the point of encouraging single-use bags, even when they are biodegradable? The way to go is ordering reusable bags with your company name and logo on the front. Everyone in the community will know where you stand immediately. You’ll show how you feel about the environment with this simple gesture. Then you can watch the benefits a business will get when doing what’s right for the community.
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