Plastic bags at checkout could soon no longer be an option for shoppers in Prince George’s Co.

The Prince George’s County, Maryland, council has voted in favor of the Better Bag Bill, which will ban plastic bags and add a 10-cent fee for each paper bag used at retail stores across the county.

Retailers will also be required to post signage about the charge.

The bill received unanimous support from the council.

Residents and community activists also spoke out in favor of the bill aimed at reducing pollution and eliminating the 353 million plastic bags used annually across the county.

“At county grocery stores that provide complimentary plastic carry out bags, 88% of the shoppers take the bags,” said the chair of the Sierra Club “Zero Waste” team.

Sarah Price, a representative with the Maryland Retail Association, also expressed support.

“Anyone who would like to skip the 10-cent fee can do so by bringing their own bag,” she added. “Ultimately the goal here is to minimize the use of any single use bags.”

The move is similar to laws put in place across the state. Plastic bags are currently banned in Laurel and Takoma Park. Montgomery County currently charges a tax on paper or plastic bags.

A second public hearing on the Better Bag Bill is scheduled for June 20.

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Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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