Roanoke City’s plastic bag tax goes into effect on Saturday

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Your trip to the grocery store could soon cost you a little more. Starting Saturday, customers will be charged for using plastic bags at grocery stores, convenience stores and drugstores.

Experts say plastic bags were once considered a good alternative to paper bags in the 1980s, but are now becoming a major expense and an environmental hazard.

“It’s a huge waste problem for us. In our streets and in our parks, it is a big problem. They get into trees and bushes, but more than that, they get into our waterways and that’s what really concerns us, ”said Nell Boyle, Sustainability and Outreach Coordinator for the City of Roanoke. .

Boyle explained that once a plastic bag enters a stream, it breaks down into microfibers and ultimately lowers the quality of the water supply.

Effective January 1, 2022, customers shopping in the City of Roanoke will be charged $ 0.05 per plastic bag purchased at a grocery store, convenience store or drugstore. Of that money, the company will keep $ 0.02 in the first year and $ 0.01 in the second year.

The city will keep the rest of the money, which Boyle says will be used for “cleaning up the environment, educating on plastic bags, educating on waste and mitigating liters, and then also free bags for SNAP and WIC beneficiaries “.

Click here to learn more about the municipal plastic bag tax.


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