Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Tax Decreases Plastic Bag Use

In the nine months since the institution of the D.C. bag tax, the use of disposable bags has dropped by about 60 percent. While residents were initially skeptical of the effectiveness of the tax, according to The Washington Post, five cents are proving enough of an incentive for customers to forgo plastic bags.

The tax has also reduced the number of bags used by Georgetown students, according to Kaitlyn Fredrick (NHS ’11), director of Vital Vittles.

“I have noticed that customers request substantially fewer bags,” she said.

The bag tax has also encouraged customers to be more environmentally friendly.

“Many customers have begun bringing their own reusable bags or purchasing ones that we sell,” Fredrick said.

The university distributed reusable Grab `n’ Go bags for students at the beginning of the semester and many students are now carrying their own bags.

“We wanted to go green, because last year we were giving bags to every student. Most students bring their bags, very few, only like 10 out of 50, leave their bags in the room. Response has been very positive, because people like the idea of going green,” Grab `n’ Go cashier Jose Arias said.

Not all students are thrilled by the new measures, however.

“I buy less and bring my own bag to the store. I don’t hate the planet, and I reuse my plastic bags, but it’s super inconvenient,” Elizabeth Sinden (COL ’12) said.

ost of the revenue from the five cent tax goes into cleaning the Anacostia River, which has been severely polluted by plastic bags. One cent goes to the retailers, two cents if they offer rebate for bringing their own bags, and the remainder goes to alleviate the heavy pollution of Anacostia River, where about 20 percent of the waste is plastic bags.

Through the end of July, the city collected about $1.1 million in revenue from the tax. The projected goal for the year was $3.6 million.

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