Baltimore is trying to ban plastic bags…again.
This time, the ban has a big chance of becoming law…with your help.
In Baltimore, plastic bags are everywhere. They fly down our streets, get caught in trees, clog our waterways, and harm our wildlife. A bill to ban plastic bags in Baltimore City has been over a decade in the making.
Since the Baltimore City Council first proposed a ban in 2006, hundreds of U.S. cities have outlawed plastic bags at checkout counters. After eight attempts to pass a plastic bag ban since then, City Councilman Bill Henry introduced the proposal again in June of this year.
This time, things are different; the proposal is supported by a majority of city council members and the Council’s new President, Brandon Scott. So the ninth time could be the charm to finally pass a plastic bag ban in our beloved Charm City!
What Would the Ban Do?
The goal of the Comprehensive Bag Reduction Bill is to encourage residents to use reusable bags. The proposed bill would ban plastic checkout bags at retailers in Baltimore, like small grocers and clothing stores.
As drafted, the bill would include a five-cent fee for paper and compostable bags. Retailers retain one cent with four cents going to the city. Low-income residents making purchases through WIC or SNAP would be exempt from the five-cent fee.
Would A Bag Ban Help?
Banning plastic bags would be a win for the environment, our local economy, and Baltimore residents across the board. It paves the way for combating plastic trash in Baltimore’s communities and waterways. Similar laws across Maryland have sharply cut plastic bag litter with no dip in sales for businesses. Best of all, less plastic pollution would mean a healthier environment and city residents alike.
On Tuesday, August 6, Blue Water Baltimore and many other advocates came out to support the bill at the first committee hearing on the proposal. Baltimore residents and organizations made it clear: we’re not backing down from the bag ban!
How Can I Get Involved?
City Councilmembers are in the process of considering this bill and you can help efforts to #BanTheBag in Baltimore. Here’s how…..