Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

“Dear PoP,

DC’s disposable bag fee is just over a year old now. While the program had a successful start, I’m starting to notice more and more retailers sliding back to pre-bag fee days. In the Columbia Heights neighborhood, all the large chains seem to have forgotten about this law already–Target, CVS, Giant–and so have many smaller establishments. Does the city audit this program, or does it rely solely on consumer reports/complaints? (There is an online tip form here)

So I found out a little more from someone at DDOE. They do perform inspections of businesses required to follow the regulations of the District Bag Law and use the tip line to help prioritize inspections. It seems they too have noticed that many businesses are not consistently charging customers the $.05 fee per bag.

I’d like to find out of others have experienced this same change in compliance by retailers. If it’s just a few stores here and there, I think the tip form could work to get things back on track. On the other hand, if it’s a city-wide problem, perhaps a reminder campaign is in order.”

And on the flip side another reader sent in a link to a Facebook page called Kill The Bag Tax that has over 9,000 fans. Though it’s not clear how many are DC residents.

But to the original reader’s question – whenever I go to the Giant in Columbia Heights they comply. And the same goes for my experiences at Target. Have others noticed the fee not being implemented?

We talked about fast food stores and the fee/tax here.


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