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Survey Finds Bag Tax is Working in D.C.

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credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — D.C.’s 5-cent bag tax is serving its intended purpose, according to new research from the survey firm OpinionWorks.

About 80 percent of shoppers are using fewer disposable bags as a result of the fee, according to the company’s interviews with District residents and businesses. Nearly a quarter of District shoppers report that they always carry reusable bags with them when they shop.

More than 75 percent of businesses told OpinionWorks that they have been providing fewer bags to customers since the fee took effect in 2010. Bag purchasing by businesses, in turn, has decreased by half.

Two-thirds of people surveyed, including residents and business owners, said they have seen less bag litter around the city.

Business owners did report that up to 40 percent of customers still express negative feelings about the bag fees, however.

OpinionWorks says 600 random District residents and 177 District businesses were interviewed for the survey.

Neighboring Montgomery County also has a five-cent bag tax, which went into effect in 2012.

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