Plastic or reusable? Roanoke sack tax to force issue January 1 | Local News

Roanoke’s ban will appear flawed to some. It does not apply to Lowe’s and Home Depot home improvement outlets or department stores such as Kohl’s or Belk, although it does apply to Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Target. Moreover, it is not clear whether a tax of this size will change behavior. Using an environmental group’s estimate that the typical American family brings in 1,500 bags per year, paying the tax would cost $ 6.25 per month or $ 75 per year.

Denver, from which Roanoke borrowed the slogan, taxes plastic bags at a penny each.

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What is happening? Roanoke is fast becoming one of the first cities in the state to tax plastic bags received at checkout to transport purchases.

Which bags are taxed? Disposable plastic bags supplied in grocery stores, convenience stores and drugstores. The city estimates that 130 retailers will have to pay the tax and expects most to pass the cost on to customers.

Exceptions ? Yes. No tax will apply to paper bags or thin, transparent bags often provided on produce and meat shelves to transport loose or wet foods such as potatoes, kale, cream ice cream or meat.

What if I order my groceries online? No matter. The tax applies to bags used for in-store purchases, curbside pick-up, take-out and delivered merchandise.

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