When I heard about this initiative I actually thought it was a good idea. We all know the issues that face the Anacostia River, and we know that plastic bags are bad for the environment since they are non-biodegradable, and are light weight and hard to keep in one place (like a landfill). But as time has gone on and I still see people "buying" plastic bags, I wonder if the tax has been beneficial since plastic bags are still available and used regularly. Could the council have taken this whole bag thing a step further and just removed plastic bags from all businesses? Could they have charged more than 5 cents for a plastic bag? Could they do more PR on the reasons why plastic bags are so detrimental to the environment, and specifically the Anacostia River?
If the whole purpose behind this tax is to reduce the use of plastic bags, I really think people have to have a shift in the way they live to fully make this change. They have to understand that although plastic bags are convenient, there are other options, and people need to know why this is so important to the environment. I'm not sure that the average DC resident (or anyone for that matter) is going to get all that just by forcing them to pay an extra 5 cents for a bag.