Let the County Board Know You Support a Plastic Bag Tax
The County Board will be voting on an ordinance to adopt a plastic tax at its Saturday, September 18 meeting. Similar ordinances will be considered in Alexandria and Fairfax County. If passed, a five-cent tax on plastic bags will go into effect on January 1, 2021, and our communities will join with the District of Columbia and Montgomery County in encouraging the reduction in single-use plastic bags. The tax (a fee really), was enabled in 2020 by Senate Bill 11. In February, EcoAction Arlington submitted a petition with over 1,500 signatures to the County Board in support of a plastic bag tax.
The harmful effects of single-use plastic bags are considerable. They are a common and unsightly form of litter, are deadly to birds, turtles, and other wildlife, and pollute the soil, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. Plastic bag fees are effective in reducing use and the associated littering. In DC disposable bag use dropped from an estimated 22.5 million bags per month to an estimated 3 million bags after the fee went into effect and the number of plastic bags collected during volunteer clean up events dropped by 72 percent. Contrary to common objections, there is no evidence that such fees place a burden on low-income households. As other jurisdictions have done, Arlington should make reusable bags available to SNAP and WIC recipients.
Read more details in our plastic bag tax FAQ.
Read the September 14, 2021 letter
sent to the County Board in support of the plastic bag tax by EcoAction Arlington, Sierra Club’s Potomac River Group, and the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions Arlington Hub.
Let the County Board know you support the plastic bag tax by sending an email to email@example.com (see sample email below) or consider speaking out at the September 18 meeting virtually or in-person (register to speak here).
Please use our template below, and consider adding your own personal story and/or concerns.
Subject: Vote Yes on the Plastic Bag Tax Ordinance
Dear Arlington County Board Members:
I am writing in support of Arlington County joining with neighboring Alexandria City and Fairfax County to adopt a $0.05 plastic bag tax on January 1, 2022 and urge you to vote for the ordinance. Plastic bags are a scourge to our environment and a threat to our health. They are a common and unsightly form of litter, are deadly to birds, turtles, and other wildlife, and pollute the soil, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. Plastic bag fees are effective in reducing use and the associated littering and will encourage the shift to reusable bags.
Phone number (optional)