May 26, 2021

Editorial: Plastic Bag Taxes Have to Generate a Real Behavior Change Among Virginians

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

The city of Roanoke became the first Virginia locality to institute a 5-cent tax on single-use plastic bags at grocery, convenience and drug stores under legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly giving cities and counties the option to levy a disposable bag fee.

In an editorial, the Richmond Times-Dispatch writes that "plastic bag taxes have to generate a real behavior change among Virginians"& as one of several solutions that "should be in motion to reduce our dependency on plastic and create a more sustainable environment."

The editorial cited a 2020 analysis by the Nicholas Institute that sought to chronicle the past 20 years of government responses to lessen levels of plastic pollution. The researchers gathered almost 300 policies into a searchable database, finding single-use bags were a prime target.