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Advocates, Shoppers Prepare For Bag Tax

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D.C.'s new bag tax starts on Jan. 1, 2010.
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D.C.'s new bag tax starts on Jan. 1, 2010.

By Peter Granitz

Shoppers in D.C. will be charged an extra five cents a bag, starting the first of the year. And advocates for the so called bag tax, are trying to make sure people know there are alternatives.

Across the Anacostia River is the Nationals stadium. Walking up here there was litter everywhere, but it seems the rivers even worse. There are bottles floating by, everywhere it seems, and even plastic bags.

A few miles away in Congress Heights, shoppers are picking up free reusable bags outside a Giant grocery store. It's a way to avoid paying a nickel for every paper and plastic bag you take home.

Dolores Bird snatched one of those bags up. She says she's supported the idea since it first came up. "Maybe if they were to up it, maybe charge ten cents, people will start realizing what the damage is when they have to start adding a little more money to their bill," says Bird.

The bag tax is expected to bring in more than $3 million dollars in the first year. The money will go towards cleaning up the river, paying for environmental programs, and buying more reusable bags.

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