The bloggers here at DC ROCKS are sill waking up to what exactly is new about 2010 except for the date. I was lurking at the Four Seasons on New Year's Eve. There were balloons everywhere, people in funny hats and the band was playing Auld Lang Syne, but nothing really changed at the stroke of midnight except most people were now really drunk and ready to dance.
By Saturday, however, a visible change did occur here in Washington. A new law was in effect which imposes a five cent fee on any bag handed out at stores that sell either food or liquor. (And that about covers all of my shopping needs except for the thrift stores.) This is the first law of its kind nation wide, and maybe the most progressive thing out of DC since Chuck Brown.
I think this action was way overdue. We have too much stuff in this country. Just go into any large thrift store like Value Village and feel the magnitude of the castoffs- the crush of discarded stuffed animals, clothes and even vanity style light bulbs. A lot of those things originally came in plastic bags like the ones making up a good part of the Anacostia's pollution problem.
Besides the environmental thing though, there's an additional perhaps unforeseen benefit occurring. I already see people walking around town sporting all kinds of new totes, and every one of them looks better than a bag with CVS in red letters on white plastic. This is our chance to save a fish, cut down on waste and make a fashion statement all at the same time. The question is no longer "paper or plastic," but "did you bring a bag?" It's cool; it's different (unless you happen to live in Paris) and it virtually happened overnight.
Once again DC ROCKS.
Happy New Year, Washington.