Free Resuable Bags in Your Neighborhood


From an email:

As part of the District’s “Skip the Bag, Save the River” campaign, the District Department of the Environment and CVS/pharmacy have teamed up to distribute reusable shopping bags. Beginning January 1, 2010, District businesses that sell food or alcohol must charge you 5 cents for every disposable paper or plastic carry-out bag. You can save a nickel by bringing your own.

To learn more about the new bag law, and DDOE’s efforts to clean up the Anacostia River, please visit today.

DDOE/CVS Bag Distribution Events

Thursday, December 03, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 845 Bladensburg Rd. NE
Friday, December 04, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 4851 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Monday, December 07, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 1900 7th St. NW
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 5550 Connecticut Ave. NW
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 5013 Connecticut Ave. NW
Thursday, December 10, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 6514 Georgia Ave. NW
Friday, December 11, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 110 Carroll Ave. NW
Monday, December 14, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 1403 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 4859 MacArthur Blvd. NW
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 1201 Maryland Ave. SW
Thursday, December 17, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 1100 New Jersey Ave. SE
Friday, December 18, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 401 M St. SW
Monday, December 21, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 2646 Naylor Rd. SE
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:30 a .m. – 1:30 p.m. 3230 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

12 Comment

  • I hope I’m wrong, but resusable bags will never catch on. Seems the government should subsidize plastic bag recycling, so people can exchange their used bags for money.

  • 2b3s,

    I think it will catch on over time. You just need to remember to take the bags with you to the store.

  • Does anyone know if DC liquor stores (and grocery stores that sell alcohol for that matter) are required to put your beer, wine, or liquor in a bag? I bought a six pack in Virginia at a Whole Foods and the clerk put the beer in an enormous double-thick paper bag. I told him I didn’t need it, and he said he had to put it in a bag. I told him it had a handle, and therefor a bag was unnecessary. He told me it was the law that he must put this beer in a bag. Is it the same in DC?

  • E-rich, yes. I’ve had the same experience as you in DC, but with wine.

  • saf

    2b3s – it’s worked in Europe. Why wouldn’t it work here?

    Yeha, slowly, but it will work.

  • @saf and everyone else who uses the European argument: the difference is that yes, it works in Europe – because it’s never been any other way. There are also a lot of places in Europe that require you to pay an old woman for a square or two of sandpaper-esque toilet paper in order to use a public restroom.

    I’m not saying people won’t eventually come around, but it’s going to take a very long time to change a mindset that’s ingrained. And, it’s not like (high quality – much higher than grocery store bags here) plastic bags aren’t available to purchase – just like they will be here.

    I absolutely hate this bag tax. I don’t litter and I reuse my bags to pick up after my dog. Sure, I have a closet full of stupid reusable bags that I’ve picked up along the way, but I do not keep them on me. Obviously I’ll need to try to remember to keep them in my car since I don’t plan grocery store trips in advance. And I’ll have to start buying bags to clean up my dog’s crap, which will never cease to blow my mind that people think that’s normal. (And, no, I don’t care that they’re biodegradable and ostensibly “better.” I’m completely indifferent to that. “Greening my life” is just not very high on my priority list.) On the other hand, it’s only .05, and doesn’t make that much of a difference to me. Frankly, I’m actually inclined to drive across the river and shop in VA out of spite. Almost makes me wish I had an SUV for those trips.

  • this is what they did at the food markets when i was in Italy. No one seemed to have a problem with it and it seemed to be a pretty great concept. I’m glad we’re moving in this direction 🙂

  • houseintherear

    Oh, Nichole. Read your comment back and have a little wake-up call, please.

    $10 a month to buy poopie dog bags is no biggie. And as a plus, they’re more compact and easy to stick in a pocket or even in your bra if you’re on the run.

  • @Nichole – I’m kind of on both sides on the fence for this one. I think it’s awesome they’re doing this, but the people who litter will still litter… $0.05 is not going to change that. On the other hand, less plastic bag use is a big deal in the long run. I don’t have a dog, but I have masses of plastic bags, and whenever I see the plastic bag holder in the front hall of our apartment building empty, I will refill it for the dog owners. Maybe when you buy vegetables or fruit, instead of putting like 5 oranges in one bag, put each orange in it’s own bag 🙂

    Is the $0.05 more of a preventative measure, or is that money going towards the Anacostia clean up?

  • I keep a reusable bag in my messenger bag. Folded up, it doesn’t take up much room at all. Also, I actually plan my grocery store runs, so I just grab a couple of reusable bags when I head out. So the tax won’t affect me — I’ve been doing this stuff all along.

    And it just astonishes me that some people react so negatively to the idea of reducing the use of plstic bags, or even just making consumers pay at least some of the true cost hidden in the things. Hey, maybe we should give away free gas too.

  • Free gas would be fantastic. Sign me up!

    It’s not the money I object to. I don’t care at all about that; it’s such a small amount, it isn’t going to make any difference at all to me. In fact, if stores started charging for the bags, I’d be all for it. My issue is that it’s going to the DC gov’t to be (mis)managed by a gov’t agency and gained public support by being marketed as a “green initiative” to appeal to the kinds of people who have also been successfully marketed to by folks making green/biodegradable/environmentally friendly dog crap bags.

    It’s not like this is going to change anything I already do or don’t do, I just object to it on principle.

  • The issue with the plastic bags is that if they were REALLY opposed to them, they could just ban them in the city. Make retailers use something that will break down more quickly, which would then translate to either a.) higher prices for goods, or b.) a specific charge for the bags if the price was dramatically higher.

    Instead, the DC government is just using the issue to rake in more money that they will mishandle. It’s just a money grab — if they really cared about the bags, they could just as easily make the bags go away altogether.

    I’m already buying groceries when I’m in VA or my wife does on her way home from work in MD, even though we already used reusable bags.

    It’s the principle of the thing, and we won’t support yet another money grab by DC.

Comments are closed.