Roanoke “Plastic Bag Tax” now in effect

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 5:43 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - For many years, the City of Roanoke has been hoping to pass an ordinance that would allow a tax or ban on plastic bags in the city.

“We’ve been asking for this for 12 years. So that was a big deal when the General Assembly finally did allow that we could adopt the ordinance,” said Nell Boyle, the Sustainability and Outreach Coordinator for the City of Roanoke.

The City Council approved the ordinance in the summer of 2021. But starting January 1, 2022, a five-cent tax per bag will begin at grocery, convenience and drug stores.

“What we’re trying to do is encourage people to change to reusable bags and to let go of those plastic bags. Because they create a great deal of litter in our streets and in waterways, particularly in our storm drain systems.”

Boyle said the businesses will get a 2-cent rebate per bag, but the rest of the tax money will go to the City, specifically toward environmental cleanups and education on pollution and plastic. Boyle said they have had a positive response from businesses.

“Stores have been pretty supportive. I think they also see the opportunity they may not need to supply bags anymore at some point and time, so there’s a benefit to that.”

Boyle and the City want this to be a team effort and hope it will be a positive for the Roanoke community as it looks to the future.

You can find more information on the “Plastic Bag Tax” here.

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