Any city or county in Virginia may impose a 5₵ tax on each disposable plastic bag provided to shoppers in local grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies. The city or county needs to pass an ordinance to begin applying this tax.
The store collects the tax at the time of the sale. Money raised by this tax goes to support environmental cleanup, litter and pollution mitigation, or environmental education efforts, or to provide reusable bags to recipients of SNAP or WIC benefits.
5₵ per bag.
Localities where the disposable plastic bag tax currently applies:
- Alexandria City
- Arlington County
- Fairfax County
- Falls Church City
- Fredericksburg City
- Loudoun County
- Roanoke City
- Albemarle County, beginning January 1, 2023
- Fairfax City, beginning January 1, 2023
What types of bags are subject to this tax?
Disposable plastic bags provided to shoppers in grocery stores, convenience stores, or pharmacies. The tax applies whether the bags are provided to the customer free of charge, or if the store charges the customer for the bags.
What types of bags are not subject to this tax?
- Durable plastic bags, with handles, that are designed to be used multiple times and are at least 4 mils thick
- Plastic bags solely used to wrap, contain or package the following types of goods in order to prevent damage or contamination:
- Ice cream
- Unwrapped bulk food items
- Perishable food items
- Dry cleaning
- Prescription drugs
- Multiple bags sold in containers for use as garbage, pet waste, or leaf removal bags
How to file and pay
File your disposable plastic bag tax as part of your Form ST-9 Retail Sales and Use Tax return. Returns and payment are due by the 20th day of the month following the month the sale occurred.
For more information, please see Guidelines for the Virginia Disposable Plastic Bag Tax.