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Posted at 04:56 PM ET, 01/04/2010

Early, limited reports on bag tax

It's too soon to say how quickly District residents will adapt to bringing their own bags when they shop for food or booze. The city's new law charging a fee for plastic and paper bags at certain stores went into effect on New Years' Day.

But a small sampling from the first three days suggests many shoppers already have changed their habits. At the Harris Teeter food store in Columbia Heights, more customers brought their own bags -- 3,973 -- than were charged the 5-cent fee -- 3,021.

On Capitol Hill, the store counted 5,394 reusable bags and charged for 6,625 paper and plastic bags, according to numbers provided by the office of D. C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who sponsored the legislation.

The tax is intended to raise money to help clean up the Anacostia River and is one of the toughest such measures in the nation.

"If D.C. can make this happen, other jurisdictions around the country may follow suit," Wells said this morning at a press conference.

By Ann Marimow  |  04:56 PM ET, 01/04/2010

Categories:  D.C. Council

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