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.
If you are still confused, check out this Liz Crenshaw story with everything you need to know about the bag fee.