In a bid to help protect the environment, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, ordered a ban on plastic bags at grocery stores on Monday night.
It joins a growing numbers of counties in the D.C. region to enact bans on single-use plastic bags.
Starting in January 2024, grocery shoppers in Anne Arundel County must either bring their own reusable bags or pay 10 cents each for paper bags. Restaurants are exempt from the ban.
Proponents of the bill that passed Monday said the ban is especially important because the county has 550 miles of shoreline that can become fouled by plastic bag waste. Disposable plastic bags are often blamed for trapping fish, birds and other wildlife.
Prince George’s County Council gave preliminary approval in May and is expected to provide final approval later this month on a similar ban on plastic bags.
Plastic bags are also banned in Laurel and Takoma Park.
Montgomery County grocery shoppers currently pay a 5-cent tax on each plastic bag used at grocery, convenience and drugstores.
There are similar plastic bag taxes in Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun counties and the city of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia.
The District also aims to discourage the use of Styrofoam and plastic bags by charging a 5-cent tax on each bag.
But don’t worry, many stores also carry reusable bags for sale, just usually at a higher price than paper.
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