Clean Virginia Waterways new report — “Opportunities to Reduce Plastic Pollution: Policy Recommendations and Best Practices for the Virginia Litter Fund” — is an in-depth examination of the funding sources for the Virginia Litter Control and Recycling Fund, as well as a comparative analysis of similar initiatives in other states and localities across the nation. This comprehensive analysis aims to provide policymakers, government officials, nonprofits, and citizens with valuable insights, best practices, and lessons learned from different approaches to tackling litter issues
The CVW report reveals that Virginia’s Litter Tax generates the lowest per capita funding of any state using a similar system to fund litter abatement and cleanup programs. The CVW report provides policymakers, government officials, nonprofits, and citizens with valuable insights, best practices, and lessons learned from different approaches to tackling litter issues. Download the report from http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/publications.html
Litter taxes and fees are a valuable tool to fund litter prevention and education programs, solid waste infrastructure, and removal of litter once it has reached the environment through community clean ups. Litter taxes are one prong of the multi-prong approach necessary to reduce the flow of plastic pollution and litter in our waterways and communities. Litter taxes and associated programs cannot replace the necessary work of implementing proven policies to reduce plastic pollution such as recycling refunds programs (also known as “bottle bills”) and extended producer responsibility programs.
Recommendations from the report:
1. Tie the Virginia litter tax to inflation and adjust every 5 years.
2. Increase the percentage of the beer and wine cooler excise tax dedicated to the Litter Fund from 2% to 6%.
3. Include all non-alcoholic beverages in the soft drink excise tax and increase the rate at which the soft drink excise tax is imposed.
4. Provide exemptions for low volume/small businesses.5. Allow nonprofit organizations and university/college researchers to apply for the competitive grants.
6. Add a $0.50 cigarette litter abatement fee for every pack of cigarettes sold in Virginia.
7. Create and support a statewide litter prevention and “cover your load” campaign.