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Statement: Plastic Bag Reduction Act passes Maryland House

For Immediate Release

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland House of Delegates voted to pass the Plastic Bag Reduction Act on Wednesday. The bill stops retailers from distributing single-use plastic bags starting in July 2022. HB314 is sponsored by Del. Brooke Lierman and it’s aligned with a companion Senate bill, SB223, from Sen. Malcolm Augustine. Now, the Senate will consider the bill.

In response, Environment Maryland director Kate Breimann and Maryland PIRG director Emily Scarr released the following statements:

“Environment Maryland is grateful for the delegates who voted to prioritize our planet and people over endless plastic waste polluting our communities and waterways. Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our environment for centuries,” said Breimann. “Plastic bags aren’t recyclable, they release toxic chemicals as they degrade, and far too many end up littering our communities and waterways, where they hurt wildlife. We know that bag bans are an effective tool to combat plastic pollution and move consumers to reusable bags. We thank Del. Lierman for her leadership on this issue and look forward to seeing the Senate pass this bill soon.”

“Banning single-use plastic bans is a step forward in our efforts to end our plastic problem. On average, we each use hundreds of plastic bags per year and there is no way to properly get rid of them,” said Scarr. “Plastic bag disposal is a lose, lose, lose. The ones we try to recycle jam up the state’s machinery, and every plastic bag we throw away either gets burned in our toxic incinerator and polluting our air or buried in a leaky landfill polluting our water. If these bags get loose, they end up littering our neighborhoods, roads, and waterways, including our beloved Chesapeake Bay. We all know the mantra ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’ It’s time to reduce plastic production, move to reusable, and use truly recyclable materials for the rest.”