ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. – As the new year begins, several Maryland counties are implementing changes to their local laws. Among these changes is a significant shift at grocery store checkouts in Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and Frederick. Single-use plastic bags are now a thing of the past in these areas.
Dubbed the Plastic Bag Reduction Act, this new law aims to reduce the usage of single-use plastics and encourage people to adopt more sustainable habits by using reusable totes. Stores are now prohibited from offering single-use plastic bags, a move supported by Anne Arundel Council Vice-Chair Julie Hummer and others who believe it will help reduce litter and the presence of plastic bags along roadways.
Starting February 1st, stores will begin charging a minimum of 10 cents for paper bags. However, Hummer clarifies that this charge is not a tax and does not go back to the county. Instead, it goes to the retailers themselves to help offset the costs of paper bags.
While some shoppers have expressed concerns about the switch from plastic to paper, stating that paper bags are not as strong, others have already adjusted to the change. They bring their own reusable bags or opt to leave the groceries in the cart until they can load them into their car.
Lawmakers insist that this policy is here to stay and may even expand in the future. This change reflects a broader global effort to reduce plastic waste and promote more sustainable practices.
In summary, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and Frederick have introduced new laws that ban the use of single-use plastic bags in grocery stores. Starting February 1st, shoppers will have to bring their own reusable bags or pay a minimum of 10 cents for paper bags. This initiative aims to decrease litter and promote environmentally friendly habits among residents.