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Virginia lawmaker proposes nickel tax on plastic bags

By: Jeremy Carroll

December 13, 2012

RICHMOND, VA. (Dec. 13, 12:50 p.m. ET) — A Virginia lawmaker has proposed imposing a nickel tax on single-use plastic bags, the Washington Examiner reported.

The money raised from the tax would go toward the state’s Water Quality Improvement Fund, which has been funding clean up of Chesapeake Bay. The proposed law would exempt bags used for ice cream, meat, fish, poultry, leftover restaurant food, newspapers, dry cleaning and prescription drugs, the newspaper reported. But all other plastic bags from retail outlets would cost consumers 5 cents, the newspaper reported.

Under the proposal, retailers would keep 1 cent for each bag or 2 cents if they have a program that rewards patrons with cash if they bring their own bags to the store.

Washington, D.C., has a similar tax.