plastic-bag-litter.jpgThe mayor of Washington, DC signed a bill this week that will establish a 5 cent fee charged to the consumer for every plastic bag used at a grocery store, or other retailer. The nickel fee will go into effect January 1 and will pay for cleaning up the Anacostia River (with a penny of it going to the retailer).

Mayor Adrian Fenty described the change as a simple step and said in a statement, “Disposable bags are a menace to our waterways, and dramatically cutting down on their use will have a measurable impact almost immediately.”

The District Department of the Environment, which will administer the newly established Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Fund, plans to launch a public education campaign in October about the new law and will distribute free reusable bags to people who need them.

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