District begins enforcement of fees on plastic bags, parking

This year, some D.C. residents may resolve to change their shopping and parking habits – if not, it will cost them.

A fee on disposable shopping bags has been implemented, and increases to parking costs around the District will also start in January, according to The Washington Post.

A law signed in July by Mayor Adrian Fenty went into effect Jan. 1, making businesses who sell food or alcohol charge 5 cents to customers for each plastic or paper bag they use.

Consumers who bring their own bags will not have to pay the fee, which sends 4 cents toward the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Fund. Retailers get to keep the other cent, or 2 cents if they offer a rebate to customers who bring their own bags.

A “Skip the Bag, Save the River” campaign has been used to raise awareness about the fee with the distribution of free, reusable bags at local CVS pharmacy stores. On Friday, Safeway and Giant grocery stores will be giving shoppers reusable bags, WTOP reported.

Later this month, parking will no longer be free on Saturdays, and drivers who park on city streets during the week will have to feed meters coins until 10:30 p.m.

Also, 14,749 parking spaces across the city are being converted to charge $2 per hour.

The Washington Post reported that the parking changes are expected to bring about $7.6 million in revenue to the District, which is facing a potential budget deficit of $104 million next year.

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