Didn’t get charged the bag fee? Leave a tip with DOEE, call 311, or contact (202) 671-0080.
Purpose and Impact of the Bag Law
The Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act of 2009 – commonly known as the “Bag Law” – requires that District businesses that sell food or alcohol charge a $0.05 fee for each paper and plastic bag distributed with any purchase, with certain exemptions.
Revenues from the fee go to The Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Fund and have been used to implement a variety of watershed educational, trash capture, stream restoration projects throughout the Anacostia Watershed. In addition, these funds are used for the purchase and of reusable bags and distributed to low-income and aging populations throughout the District.
Read the annual summary reports from the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Act of 2013, which details how the Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Fund is utilized.
Learn more about the purpose of the Bag Law and its impact on trash in the District’s communities and water bodies.
Law and Regulations
The Bag Law took effect on September 23rd, 2009 and the associated fees for bag usage began on January 1st, 2010. The final regulations were published in the DC Register on August 13, 2010. These regulations clarify how DOEE implements and enforces the requirements of the law.
Implementing the Bag Law at your Business
Businesses that sell food or alcohol in DC must charge a $.05 bag fee and remit a portion of these fees to the Office of Tax and Revenue. The business retains one cent (or two cents if it offers a rebate when customers bring their own bag), and the remaining three or four cents go to The Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Fund.
The DC Office of Tax and Revenue has outlined detailed instructions for remitting monthly bag fees, and documentation will need to be submitted using the FR-800M series form. Signage explaining the Bag Law is available and it has been translated into multiple additional languages.
Read DOEE’s comprehensive guide (also attached below) to learn more about the requirements of the Bag Law and how to implement them at your business.
Did you know that you can directly support the Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Fund? You can make a contribution directly from your District income tax form or purchase a unique “Save the River” commemorative license plate.
The Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Fund is not the only program working toward the improvement of the Anacostia Watershed, there are many more initiatives underway as well.
Learn more about the full range of materials which can be recycled in the District. Translated resource materials are also available. For more information, please see the FAQs, or, contact Lillian Power at (202) 671-0080 or [email protected].
- Plastic Bags: To Ban or Not to Ban? - VOA (December 16, 2014)
- In praise of…charging for plastic bags - The Guardian (August 21, 2013)
- How D.C. Beat the Plastic Bag Lobby – One Earth (November 11, 2010)
- District Awards Seven Community Organizations $1 Million in Revenue from Bag Charges to Restore Local Waterways – DOEE Press Release (July 13, 2011)
- Trapping Trash Before It Gets To The Anacostia – WAMU (January 30, 2012)
- Two Years Without Plastic Bags – Washington City Paper (January 31, 2012)