Washington, D.C., has started imposing a 5 cent fee on plastic and paper bags at businesses that sell food or liquor. The fee went into effect on Jan. 1, 2010.
The extra charge on each bag is expected to generate $3.6 million for the city in its first year. Three to four cents of each nickel collected will be spent to clean up the Anacostia River.
Reactions from D.C. residents ranged from enthusiasm to incredulity.
The Washington Post says it's one of the toughest measures in the country. Neighboring states Maryland and Virginia may introduce similar laws this year.
Last year, Seattle residents voted against a 20-cent per bag tax.
Could a similar tax be coming to your city or state? Maybe. Sometimes, an avalanche begins with one pebble rolling down the hill.