VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Leaders of the Lynnhaven River Now group want Virginia Beach residents to be charged 5 cents per plastic bag at grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores in an effort to keep our community cleaner.

According to Virginia Tax, a bill was passed in 2020 that gives cities the ability to pass an ordinance to begin enforcing the tax.

Lynnhaven River Now makes a presentation to the Virginia Beach City Council at 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

According to the plastic bag bill, the store collects the tax at the time of sale, and the money raised by this tax is used to support environmental cleaning, waste and pollution reduction, or environmental education efforts, or providing reusable bags to SNAP recipients. or WIC benefits.

Several cities across the state already charge for baggage, including the City of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, City of Falls Church, City of Fredericksburg, City of Roanoke, and Loudoun County, from July 1, 2022.

Lynnhaven River Now said it is technically a tax, but they believe it is more of a fee as people are given the option to opt out and bring their own reusable bags to the store.

Leaders at Lynnhaven River Now say user bag fees reduce the flow of plastic waste and protect the environment.

They say the bags end up on our roads, waterways and coasts, threatening ecosystem health and creating horrors.

They recommend that the Virginia Beach City Council follow the lead of other Virginia municipalities and enact a plastic bag fee ordinance.

They say the revenue generated should go to the Parks and Recreation and Public Works/Waste Management departments, which are best placed to apply the funds to litter prevention cleanup, community education and awareness.

It’s part of an informal meeting which you can watch live here.