I am addressing you from our nation’s capital today. A short break from Chicago was necessary in order to recharge my batteries and take in some of the sights. I missed so many when I was last in Washington.
The Holocaust Museum was on my list along with the Air and Space Museum and the DC- Zoo. Upon checking into my hotel, I realized that as usual, I left some much needed toiletries at home. No problem- I would just skip through the lobby and find the nearest drugstore. The Adams Morgan neighborhood was very trendy- very Afrocity. Upscale boutiques, 12 Starbucks, an apothecary. Everything a conservative girl with liberal shopping attitudes would want. But at the moment, I needed some talc powder for those humid days and body lotion. Hmmm, I saw a CVS store that would fit the bill. Nail polish no. Tampons no…Ah Caress Body wash, Nivea, and Shower to Shower. Dreadful was the wait in line for the register but finally when I made it, all I wanted was to pay for my items. I did not anticipate a conservative meltdown.
“Do you want a bag?” asked the cashier hesitantly.
Big Afrocity smile, “yes, thank you.”
“That will be five cents extra…is that okay with you?”
Ummm. Did he just ask me to pay for a bag? Yes he did.
“Are you serious?” I asked. WTF?
“DC bag fee…Or you can carry your items.”
Sure me and all of my toiletries walking through the hotel lobby. Nivea shoved under my armpit while maneuvering the passkey.
I never knew about the law. I was after all a visitor in a foreign country.
D.C. Bag Fee Still Creating Confusion
Businesses unsure if they have to charge
By MATTHEW STAWARZ
Updated 10:15 AM EDT, Tue, Jan 26, 2010
It didn’t take long for the D.C. bag fee to raise a more difficult question than “paper or plastic?” How about, “Is edible body frosting really food?”A little more than three weeks in, there is still a lot of confusion about which businesses are subject to charging the 5-cent fee. The city council’s intention in passing the law was green. They wanted to both reduce waste and raise money.However, the wording of the law leaves some interpretation about who needs to charge customers. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, many local businesses still cannot figure it out. The law applies to any store that sells food. But what constitutes food?One example in the paper’s report is a business where most people would not go to eat: Pleasure Palace. It’s an adult store that happens to sell edible body frosting. Sure, you can eat it, but is it food?“I’m not sure if it applies to me,” the owner, Cecilia Colglazier, told the Journal.So for the moment, Pleasure Palace is not charging the fee.Sell food outdoors, and the law gets even more confusing. The Web site The Slow Cook witnessed vendors at a local farmers market in Dupont Circle doling out their goods in plastic bags, with no added fees.