BALTIMORE — The Comprehensive Bag Reduction Act goes into effect Friday, Oct. 1. The law stops Baltimore retailers from distributing single-use plastic bags and requires a 5-cent fee on paper bags. The original bill was sponsored by then-Councilman Bill Henry.
In response, Maryland PIRG director Emily Scarr and Environment Maryland Environment Maryland’s Protect Our Oceans Campaign Director Kelsey Lamp released the following statements:
“We’ve been working toward this plastic bag ban for more than a decade. Plastic bags pollute our communities and overflow from our landfills and incinerator. Chemicals from pervasive plastic have even made their way into our bodies,” Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr said. “The plastic bag ban will help protect public health, reduce litter and clean up our waterways. We all know the mantra ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’ It’s time to reduce plastic use, bring our own reusable bags, and use truly recyclable materials for the rest.””
“Today, Baltimore is prioritizing our planet and people and putting wildlife over waste. Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our environment for centuries, but plastic bags are virtually unrecyclable and take hundreds of years to degrade while blighting our communities and waterways,” said Environment Maryland’s Protect Our Oceans Campaign Director Kelsey Lamp. “Baltimore is joining a growing list of cities and states that have banned single-use plastic bags. We know that bag bans are an effective tool to combat plastic pollution and prompt consumers to use reusable bags.”