D.C. bag law, one month on

The District of Columbia law requiring a fee for disposable bags in food and liquor businesses is reducing the demand for thee bags, even if it irritates some locals.

No official reports yet, but shopkeepers report half the use of disposable bags — quite an accomplishment — per this January 23 article in the Washington Post. Of course, there are naysayers and complainers. But I have a hard time thinking too much D.C. grocery and liquor shopping will move to Maryland or Virginia. Particularly the latter which has a food tax that D.C. doesn’t. And if you can’t remember to bring a bag to pick up your lunch — or eat it on-site — and won’t pay for a bag, then I feel no sympathy when it lands on the sidewalk. Twice. How embarrassing, so much so when adding meaningless “big government” sloganeering to counter it. (Nobody complains about “big government” when the city shuts down a rat-infested eatery, for instance. Why shouldn’t I have the option!)

On the other hand, it’s now psychologically and socially easier to bring my bag — I keep one rolled up in my satchel almost all of the time — to a take-out restaurant (I have featured one in the article as they use sugarcane fiber boxes and biodegradable forks and spoons) or a liquor store.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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