VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Leaders with the group Lynnhaven River Now want people in Virginia Beach to be charged 5 cents per plastic bag at grocery stores, drug stores, and convenience stores in an effort to keep our community cleaner.
There was a bill passed in 2020 that give cities the option to adopt an ordinance to begin applying the tax, according to Virginia Tax.
Lynnhaven River Now is making a presentation to Virginia Beach City Council at 3 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the Plastic Bag Bill, the store collects the tax at the time of the sale, and money raised by this tax goes to support environmental cleanup, litter and pollution mitigation, or environmental education efforts, or to provide reusable bags to recipients of SNAP or WIC benefits.
There are several cities across the state already charging for bags including Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Fredericksburg City, Roanoke City, and Loudoun County, beginning July 1, 2022.
Lynnhaven River Now said it is technically a tax, but they feel that it is more like a fee because people have the ability to opt out and bring their own reusable bags to the store.
Lynnhaven River Now leaders say bag user fees reduce the plastic waste stream and protect the environment.
They say the bags end up on our roadways, waterways, and coastlines, threatening ecosystem health and creating eyesores.
They are recommending to the Virginia Beach City Council that they should follow the lead of other Virginia municipalities and enact a Plastic Bag Fee Ordinance.
They say the revenue generated should go to the Departments of Parks & Recreation and Public Works/Waste Management, which is best suited to apply the funds to litter prevention cleanups, community education, and outreach.
This is part of an informal meeting that you can watch live here.