In compliance with the Skip the Bag, Save the River initiative beginning 1 January 2010, District businesses that sell food or alcohol must charge you 5 cents for each disposable paper or plastic carryout bag.
Introduced by Ward 6 DC Councilman Tommy Wells in February 2009 and passed unanimously by the Council on 16 June the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act, Bill 18-150, was signed by Mayor Fenty on 7 July 2009.
Gearing up for the 1 January 2010 5-cent surcharge on disposable bags, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on 16 November 2009 launched the District’s “Skip the Bag, Save the River” education campaign.
In promoting public awareness of the bag fee Safeway, CVS / Pharmacy and Giant have partnered with the District Department of the Environment (DDOE).
CVS/Pharmacy is contributing 12,000 additional “Skip the Bag” reusable bags and Green Bag Tag cards, and will distribute them along with DDOE at community events throughout the District. The Green Bag Tag gives CVS ExtraCare members $1 back every four times they reuse a bag. Safeway will distribute 10,000 bags beginning 1 January 2010, when the bag fee is instituted.
Giant Food Stores locations will offer up to 250,000 reusable bags to shoppers for a week starting 1 January 2010 as part of a plan to get residents to stop using disposable plastic and paper bags.
As a major recycler for nearly 50 years and, in particular, since the November 2009 "Skip The Bag, Save the River" launch, District Safeway stores have stocked up on affordable reusable bags which are available to customers for purchase at checkout points.
At the Waterfront Station Safeway in SW DC, two options are available: a regular bag at $1.99 or an insulated bag at $2.99.