This is DC Activism. Bag bill becomes law.The DC Council voted unanimous a few weeks ago to pass the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act.
Activist Julie Lawson and the DC Chapter recently helped push this multifaceted law through.
Here are the high-level details:
- Starting January 1, 2010, all retailers that sell food in the District will be charged 5 cents for each plastic or paper bag distributed
- One to two cents of the fee returns to the retailer and the remainder will go into an Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Fund to help restore one of the most polluted rivers in the country
- The fund will also pay for reusable bags and an educational campaign for low-income, elderly, and other needy residents
- The bill also establishes a new special license plate (first non-standard license plate in the city) and other voluntary revenue streams to keep the fund solvent
- Councilmember Tommy Wells who was a guest speaker at the chapters ISD event and penned the legislation also announced that Safeway donated 10,000 reusable bags to distribute to
low-income families in the city.
This was one of those everyone-rowing-in-unison moments with the bill being supported by a coalition of approximately 30 environmental and community groups.
The DC Chapter led the way on gaining public support for the bill, coordinating a postcard campaign to collect signatures at grocery stores and community events, and keeping an army of volunteers at the ready to answer questions and combat false information spread on blogs, news articles, and other online news sources. We also testified at the public hearing, met with
several councilmembers and their staff, and even designed the coalition's logo.
Kudos to the DC crew for the 360 degree approach to activism... every angle seems nicely addressed.