Less than a week after D.C.'s bag law took effect, two politicians in Maryland and Virginia have started ginning up support to carry the concept across state lines. Like the District's law, the Maryland and Virginia proposals would charge 5 cents for paper or plastic bags from grocery, drug, liquor and convenience stores. And like the District, most of the money collected would go to environmental clean-up.
Virginia Delegate Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from the Washington suburbs, says that plastic bags are one of the biggest polluters of waterways, and that paper bags are even less environmentally sound.
And Maryland Delegate Alfred Carr, a democrat from Montgomery County, says you don't have to look far to see how bad the pollution is: "Last April my two sons and I volunteered on a voluntary cleanup of Rock Creek, and the volunteers collected over seven thousand plastic retail bags."
Carr and Ebbin hope the District's new law will provide momentum for theirs. But it's not the first time they've tried. Last year similar bills in Maryland and Virginia died in committee.