District of Columbia Councilmember Tommy Wells has introduced legislation that would require retailers to charge a $0.05 fee on all carryout bags in the district. Nikita Stewert of the Washington Post writes that nine of the thirteen councilmembers have signified they support the legislation, making a veto by Mayor Fenty unlikely. Congress would still have to approve the law.
The proposal was spurred on by a study from the DC Department of the Environment that found that plastic bags were the largest component of litter in the Anacostia River. Money collected from the fee would be used to offset the cost of litter clean-up and would be used to purchase reusable bags for low income households.