Arlington County Council approved a 5-cent local tax on the use of disposable bags provided by grocery stores, convenience stores and drugstores in a vote on Saturday.

Buyers in Arlington County, Va., Will soon have to pay for plastic bags at checkout.

Arlington County Council unanimously approved a 5-cent local tax on the use of disposable bags provided by grocery stores, convenience stores and drugstores in a vote on Saturday.

Alexandria City County is also considering a 5-cent plastic bag tax and holds its first public hearing on the ordinance on Saturday.

If passed, Arlington County and Alexandria taxes will take effect on January 1, 2022.

Neighboring Fairfax County passed a 5-cent tax on disposable plastic shopping bags in a public hearing on Tuesday. It will come into force on January 1, 2022.

The proposed tax, which was authorized by the Virginia State Assembly last year, is part of state and national initiatives to reduce waste and fund environmental programs.

Retailers would be compensated for the cost of collecting and remitting this tax under orders from Arlington County and Alexandra.

Stores will be able to keep two cents out of five cents collected from each disposable plastic bag in the first year. After the first year, the amount will decrease to one cent.

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