Virginia considers plastic bag tax

Virginia is considering a plastic bag tax

You see them on the side of the road or blowing through parking lots. But now, new legislation is aimed at getting consumers to turn away from plastic shopping bags and instead go with reusable bags.

While some jurisdictions have implemented a five cent tax per bag, Virginia is looking at a fee four times that amount.

Residents think that the tax is much too high.

Twenty-six states and D.C. have adopted similar laws. The law just went into effect three weeks ago in Montgomery County.

“In my mind I'm always calculating figures and money. When I go into the store I say how much money I am going to spend. Now I'm going to have to figure out how much the bag is gonna cost out of the money in my pocket,” said Donald Spriggs, an unemployed landscaper.

In Virginia, there would be exclusions for the tax: bags for items such as ice cream, meat, fish and poultry would not be taxed.

While some shoppers are strongly opposed to the idea, others see the move as environmentally beneficial.

“I think it's a great idea. It would be more of an incentive to remember to bring your bags in. Maybe I would've remembered today,” said Casey Carter, a Virginia resident.

This isn't the first time Virginia has considered a statewide bag tax: the first two times it failed. But with neighboring jurisdictions adopting similar policies, supporters are hoping that this year it will become law.

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