pick up america

On January 1st, a new fee was imposed on bags in the District of Columbia. Since then, pretty much anyone who shops or eats in the Nation’s capital has had to ask themselves if they really need a bag (or 5). The Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act charges five cents for each paper or plastic bag given out by businesses selling food or alcohol. The business gets to keep a penny (or two if they offer a discount to those who bring their own bag). The monetary motivation is fairly negligable — even someone as poor as I can afford to drop a nickel here and there. But when the cashier at the grocery store asks if you want a bag and explains why you may want to reconsider, it forces you to actually consider whether or not the bag is necessary.

As a waiter in a DC restaurant, sometimes I box-up leftovers for customers. “Would you like a bag?” I inquire, as I give them the box. Yesterday, the two ladies at the table said yes, but reconsidered after I mentioned the five cent fee. They left the restaurant — box in hand. 

On January 1st, a new fee was imposed on bags in the District of Columbia. Since then, pretty much anyone who shops or eats in the Nation’s capital has had to ask themselves if they really need a bag (or 5). The Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act charges five cents for each paper or plastic bag given out by businesses selling food or alcohol. The business gets to keep a penny (or two if they offer a discount to those who bring their own bag). The monetary motivation is fairly negligable — even someone as poor as I can afford to drop a nickel here and there. But when the cashier at the grocery store asks if you want a bag and explains why you may want to reconsider, it forces you to actually consider whether or not the bag is necessary.

As a waiter in a DC restaurant, sometimes I box-up leftovers for customers. “Would you like a bag?” I inquire, as I give them the box. Yesterday, the two ladies at the table said yes, but reconsidered after I mentioned the five cent fee. They left the restaurant — box in hand.

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