Changes could be coming to the Baltimore County as Councilman Izzy Patoka (D-2) has introduced legislation called “Bring Your Own Bag” Act.
If passed, this law would require retailers to charge customers 10 cents for each plastic bag.
Eastside councilmen Mike Ertel (D-6) and David Marks (R-5) are co-sponsors on this bill.
Marks told eastcountytimes.com that this legislation is needed as it attempts to reduce the use of plastic bags by incentivizing people to bring reusable bags to the retailer. A similar law has been passed in Baltimore City.
“Baltimore Countians consume 300 million single-use plastic bags every year, and there are tremendous costs,” Marks said.
“I constantly organize community clean-ups that have removed hundreds of these bags from our waterways and neighborhoods. Our Eastern Sanitary Landfill is nearing capacity.”
The bill was introduced during the Baltimore County Council’s Jan. 3 meeting. The bill will be discussed at the Work Session on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. Final Reading and Vote will occur at the Legislative Session on Monday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.
If the bill is passed by the Council, it appears the bill will be signed into law by County Executive Johnny Olszewski as he offered a statement in support on the bill.
“Baltimore County has a responsibility to do everything we can to protect our environment for this generation and the next, and I commend this bipartisan effort by members of the County Council to reduce single-use plastics, which will help prevent plastic bags from littering our trees, waterways, and neighborhoods,” Olszewski wrote.
“As the legislative process continues, I encourage Councilmembers to carefully consider impacts on our families — including fee reductions and preserving the protections put in place for low-income residents. In support of this environmental effort, our administration is preparing to provide free, reusable bags for residents.”