Plastic Bag Tax Resources


In 2020, Virginia General Assembly passed SB11, which authorizes any county or city in Virginia to impose a tax of five cents per bag on disposable plastic bags provided to customers by convenience stores, drug stores, and grocery stores beginning no earlier than January 1, 2021.  The Northern Virginia Regional Waste Management Board (Waste Board) is working with  jurisdictions in an effort to develop consistent messaging and model legislation for greater clarity.  The authorizing legislation can be found here: Additional information is available from the bill's economic impact report: 

A number of questions arise from legislation that require clarification before implementation. Waste Board and other commonwealth jurisdictions have identified a number of questions found here.  Further, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission reached out to the Governor for clarifications directed in the legislation.  Provided is the letter and the state's response.  

Local governments are engaged in coordination through the Waste Board to align outreach, education, and common language for localities to ensure consistency and clarity. As a part of that effort NVRC and local staff will survey area groceries, pharmacies, and convenience stores .

Survey of Pharmacies, Grocery and Convenience Stores 

The purpose of this survey is to determine the retailer's current use of single use plastic bags, what they anticipate as challenges with implementation of a plastic bag tax, and what resources would be helpful to communicate the plastic bag fee to their customers and staff. The outcomes of this survey will be shared with the Northern Virginia Waste Management Board. Your feedback will help inform local jurisdictions as they consider a local ordinance for a plastic bag tax. The survey will close May 31, 2021. 

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