The Nickel tax on disposable bags in Washington has inspired a trend of re-usable totes with local shoppers assembling a wardrobe of bags which are functional and fashionable. “One of Washingtonians' worst fears these days is being caught shopping without their own bags. As people adjust to the new five-cent fee on disposable bags in the District, everyone seems to have something to say on the subject. Local shoppers are assembling a wardrobe of bags that are functional, fashionable or both. They are getting used to bringing their own, even if they have to rush back to their cars to retrieve them. D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) equipped her car with blue-and-white bags from Ikea last year. Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) keeps handy a red cloth bag autographed by go-go musician Chuck Brown for quick shopping trips. Many are buying reusable bags at store registers at Giant, Safeway or Whole Foods. Some have watched in dismay as customers have handed cashiers beat-up, dirty paper bags. Nikki Zook, who lives on Capitol Hill, says she started buying 99-cent reusable bags at Harris Teeter about a year ago and now has a dozen. Zook has noticed an uptick in bag users since the nickel tax was instituted Jan. 1 at stores that sell food and/or alcohol. ‘It's great that the money raised from the bag sales will go towards cleaning up the Anacostia River. . . . A large part of the debris in there is plastic bags.’