Ahead of a public meeting tonight (Wednesday), Mayor Justin Wilson outlined what’s on offer and next steps at a town hall last week.
“The plastic bag tax has been floating around for a long time,” Wilson said, noting that a similar tax is already in place in Washington. [Adam] Ebbin, who represents the eastern end of Alexandria, has proposed legislation that allows local governments to opt for the plastic bag tax.
Depending on the city, the tax could be used to:
- Environmental cleaning;
- Offer education programs designed to reduce environmental waste;
- Mitigate pollution and litter; Where
- Provision of reusable bags to beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
Wilson said the tax would only apply to grocery and convenience stores, not restaurants or other businesses. The tax would also be five cents per bag, which Wilson says isn’t a lot in terms of money to spend on infrastructure projects, but the other goal is to discourage the use of plastic bags. and reduce waste.
An admittedly unscientific poll of ALXnow readers found 61% opposed the tax.
Following the public information session, a draft ordinance will be presented to the City Council. If approved, the tax could go into effect as early as January 2022.