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House Speaker Michael E. Busch
Hundreds of stream cleanups are held in Maryland annually, and one of the biggest culprits polluting our waterways, roadsides, and urban trees are plastic bags. This legislation will significantly reduce the number of disposable bags used and entering the waste and litter stream. Prior to enactment of a similar bill in DC, 22.5 million single use bags were distributed monthly, whereas in January 2010-after just a couple of weeks of the bag fee--only 3 million bags were distributed, an 86% reduction. By reducing the number of bags taken by consumers, fewer bags escape into the environment, reducing litter control costs by counties and the state and improving one measure of health of local waterways. Counties and municipalities around the state are considering and passing their own bag ordinances (e.g., Montgomery County, Chestertown, Prince George's County, Baltimore City); we believe a statewide system is more clear and efficient for businesses and consumers.
Take Action Today and tell your legislators to voter for SB 511/ HB 1247!
The Community Cleanup and Greening Act would require stores to charge and collect a five-cent fee for each disposable plastic or paper carryout bag the store provides to a customer. The store would retain 2 cents of the fee, provided that they offer a "customer bag credit program" and 1 cent of the fee otherwise. The Chesapeake Bay Trust would administer the remaining amount, supporting water quality funds in each county by half the revenues would go directly to the county and restoration projects by Maryland nonprofit organizations.
SB 511: Community Cleanup and Greening Act of 2012 and HB 1247: Community Clean Up and Greening Act