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DC Bag Bill Update

December 31, 2009

DC Bag Bill Update

On Tuesday, December 15th, Councilmember Wells moved emergency legislation (which passed unanimously) to provide extra time for businesses to meet the requirements of Section 3 of the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009.

Specifically, Councilmember Wells had heard from some businesses with concerns that they will not have enough time to use previously purchased and existing stock of plastic and paper bags that may not be compliant with the new law. While the Council’s action clearly moves the District progressively to reduce the harmful impact of disposable, non-biodegradable, single use bags, the Council also does not want to penalize businesses that are making a good faith effort to conform to the new requirements or be forced to throw away and discard previously purchased bags. The emergency action extends the implementation of Section 3 only – the provision of the law that deals with the requirements and penalties associated with the required make-up and composition of disposable bags – for 90 days, to April 1, 2010.  The implementation of the bag fee remains January 1, 2010, but the emergency legislation gives our small businesses additional time to transition to new bags.

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Washington DC