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The original item was published from 4/11/2022 1:01:00 PM to 4/19/2022 9:47:31 AM.

News Flash

City of Falls Church News & Updates

Posted on: March 10, 2022

[ARCHIVED] 5 Cent Plastic Bag Tax

Plastic Bag Tax Starts April 1

What you need to know about the new tax:

  • The 5 cent plastic bag tax started April 1 in the City. Neighboring jurisdictions started the tax on January 1.
  • Certain retailers will charge 5 cents at checkout per each plastic bag used. 
  • There are about 20 stores in the City that will be affected: grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores.
  • Some plastic bags -- like those used for meat, seafood, and vegetables -- are exempt.
  • Skip the tax by bringing your own reusable bags, or opt for paper bags.
  • The City provided tote bags to neighbors in need. (If you are a SNAP or WIC beneficiary, you may pick up a bag from Housing and Human Services in City Hall, 300 Park Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Questions? Contact Housing and Human Services: or 703-248-5005 (TTY 711).)
  • Revenue from the tax will go toward environmental cleanup programs, pollution and litter mitigation programs, educational programs on environmental waste reduction, and for providing reusable bags to neighbors in need.
  • Learn more about the regional effort to stop plastic bag pollution

Once you start using reusable bags, make sure you're keeping them clean!

Photo of a reusable tote bag with groceries inside. These words are included: How to Keep Reusable Grocery Bags Clean and Safe. When in doubt, wash your bag! Clean: Wash bags after each use, following care instructions. Wipe insulated bags with a disinfecting or sanitizing cloth, especially along seams. Separate: Label and use separate bags for raw meats, seafood and produce. Keep bags for non-food items, like cleaners, separate from food bags. Store: After washing, make sure your bags are dry before storing. Do not store bags in your car trunk -- it's a dark, warm, and often humid environment that promotes bacteria growth.

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