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Shoppers in these Virginia counties will have to pay for plastic grocery bags starting Jan. 1

Residents in several areas in Virginia will soon have to start paying for plastic bags at grocery, convenience and drug stores.

VIRGINIA, USA — Shoppers in several areas of Virginia will soon have to start paying for disposable plastic bags. 

The Plastic Bag Tax, which will go into effect on January 1, will require shoppers to pay five cents per disposable plastic bag at grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores. The tax will apply to residents in the City of Alexandria, Arlington County and Fairfax County. A similar tax will also take effect in Fall Church but not until April 1, 2022. 

According to a press release, the Alexandria City Council, Arlington County Board and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors decided to adopt the tax in September 2021. 

Officials say the tax will not apply to:

  • Plastic bags intended for reuse 
  • Plastic bags solely used to wrap, contain or package certain items (ice cream, meat, fish, poultry, produce, unwrapped bulk food items or perishable food items) 
  • Plastic bags for dry cleaning or prescription drugs
  • Multiple plastic bags sold in packages for garbage, pet waste or leaf removal. 

Officials hope the tax will be a step in reducing the "negative environmental impacts of single-use plastic bags." The revenue collected from the tax will be used to fund environmental cleanup programs and pollution and litter mitigation programs.

More information can be found on the NOVA Plastic Solution website.

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