Howard County could be the next jurisdiction to tax plastic bag use

Howard County may follow in the footsteps of neighbors like Montgomery County and Washington, D.C., by enacting a fee on disposable bags provided by retailers.

The proposal is among the local legislation pre-filed for the upcoming General Assembly session, which starts Jan. 9. Under the bill, sponsored by Del. Terri Hill, Howard County stores would be required to charge customers 5 cents per disposable plastic bag they use to take home their purchases.

The goal of the measure is to entice shoppers to make the switch to reusable bags, said Pat Hersey, co-founder of Less Plastic Please, a local environmental group that requested the bill’s introduction. They cite the carbon footprint of disposable bags as well as their tendency to end up as trash in waterways and on land.

“We want to change people’s behavior,” Hersey said. “We’ve done research, and the most successful way of changing people’s behavior is setting up a fee.”

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, expressed…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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