Using Grocery Bags Could Soon Cost You

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–It could soon cost you more money to carry your groceries home in plastic bags.

Kai Jackson explains why one lawmaker is calling for an added tax.

The lawmaker proposing the tax says it’s going to help Maryland clean up the environment. Others see it as just another wallet busting bill.

Many of us probably don’t give much thought to the number of bags we have in the checkout line at a store. But that might change in the future.

Montgomery County Delegate Al Carr will propose a bill this session to charge a nickel for each paper or plastic bag customers take from a Maryland store. Carr says something has to be done to cut down on pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

“A lot of people find ways to reuse the bags, but the fact is that a very, very large number of them still end up as litter,” Carr said.

“Tonight I went to the grocery store and I didn’t plan on it. I’m usually not going to be carrying a bag around with me,” said Ramin Bagheri of Hampden.

Locally owned Santoni’s Supermarket opposes the bill.

“It would have a negative impact because it would take food dollars out of Maryland residents’ pockets, thus reducing sales for businesses like Santoni’s and other food dealers,” said Rob Santoni, Santoni’s market.

The full bill is called the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Consumer Retail Choice Act. In a nutshell, it’s designed to keep paper and plastic out of the bay and off the planet.

Carr and environmentalists would like to see people with reusable bags. He says a similar bill passed in Washington, D.C., and he believes it’s actually helped business.

“I don’t think too many are going to like it because I think we’re being taxed enough, but what can you do?” said Wilbert Thompson of Northeast Baltimore.

Carr says the bill will help businesses because paper and plastic bags are an overhead expense.

If passed, the nickel tax would exempt bags at farmers’ markets and those given by roadside vendors.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Signtopia says:

    Politicians still do not get it. Stop raising taxes and stop creating new taxes…..plain and simple. They must think everybody is stupid enough to fall for the spiel that this tax would benefit the Bay. Nonsense. There are already heavy fines for littering and the littering laws are only good if they can be enforced. Likewise, there will be many who will toss the bags nickel or no nickel. What could be next?…….Rent a Bag?

    1. Crabby1 says:

      no buy reusable ones you silly goose! and RE-USE THEM!!!!

  2. Teajay says:

    It’s about time they get the hint. We have less people working so there are less incomes to tap. If you can’t make it work on a smaller budget we’ll replace you ! T.E. A.

  3. Mike says:

    Montgomery County Delegate Al Carr just got my vote to replace him. Idiot must not realize the bag is lready taxed once when it is purchased by the local stores.
    NO MORE DOUBLE DIPPING.

  4. tylerjake says:

    More wonderful ideas from RICH, LIBERAL, ELITE Montgomery County. The sad thing is Maryland voters keep voting for these SAME people, over and over. Hey Maryland, Illinois increased income tax by 66% this past week. Guess what? We’re next!!! Hang on to your wallets everyone. By the time all this “change” is said and done, the only “”change” you’ll be left with is what you find in your couch cushions!

  5. chearts77 says:

    We’re getting closer and closer to that “Air Tax”. It boggles my mind how politicians can get themselves into debt…then come to the people and demand more money. How many regular Joes and Janes are in debt? How many of them go to their jobs and demand more money because they are in debt? We have to learn to live within our means…the government can learn a thing or two from us.

  6. Lisa says:

    Instead of taxing the bags why don’t we do what Ireland did years ago. Plastic bags are banned in Ireland. If you go grocery shopping you either bring your own bag or you take your groceries home without being bagged. If you go to a department store you will have your purchase bagged but the bag will be paper. I stopped using the plastic bags years ago and am much happier for it. I no longer have plastic bags that I have to remember to recycle. It is very little effort on my part to keep bags in the trunk of my car.

    1. tylerjake says:

      Isn’t Ireland totally broke and asking for money from the EU to stay afloat?! Obviously the green “utopia” you are so keen on there, isn’t working out too well. Nice try though.

      1. Diana says:

        It is not about Ireland being broke, it is about doing little things to help the Earth no matter what country you are in, so that there is still an Earth when your children and grandchildren grow up! I personally do not think that charging 5 cents per bag will keep others from discarding them as they always have. However it is a start, with the economy being the way it is, some will think more about how they use the bags they must pay for. The only way for things to work and for us to at least try to save the Earth is for EVERYONE to work together, unfortunately that will never happen. So those of us who want a better Earth can continue to do what we are doing, and hopefully we can encourage others along the way! and if one does not wish to pay 5 cents for bags; do as Lisa and myself have, purchasing reusable bags that one can leave in their vehicles so they are always there when you need them.

  7. whatnow says:

    Of course this tax is stupid. But you can beat it and make money. You can buy a bag at Giant for $1.00 that holds as much as 2 plastic bags and they give you 5 cents everytime you use the bag. I have been doing it for years. Love not having to recycle the plastic bags and making a nickel a bag. Spent $2.00 and bought an insulated one and now my ice cream doesn’t turn into a milkshake before I get home. And NO – I do NOT work for Giant!

  8. pigeon says:

    Hey people – reread. The idiot wants to tax us on not only plastic bags but also on paper bags. I’m pushing 70 and I can’t remember stores not putting your groceries or other purchases in bags. How much longer before we are told how many sheets of toilet tissue we can use? This guy is a total jerk with nothing better to do.

    1. tylerjake says:

      Thank you pigeon for pointing this out. The tree hugging lefties can’t read

  9. Question says:

    Simple answer – Biodegradable Plastic Bags
    http://www.biodegradableplasticbags.org/
    Not sure why these aren’t commonplace in the market, they would make puting your recycling out for pickup cleaner and more simple as well as being an environmental solution to grocery transportation.

  10. Wanda Williams says:

    If you stop the companies from making e plastic bags,that would solve part of the problem. If they are not available, they cannot be used.[out of sight, out of mind]

  11. dave says:

    EVERYBODY WORRIED ABOUT TAXING ON BAGS, WHAT ABOUT THE EARTH . WE STARTING BUYING REUSABLE CLOTH BAGS ABOUT 2 YRS AGO AND HAVE ENOUGH NOW TO PUT ALL OUR GROCERIES IN AND IT IS SO MUCH EASIER TO CARRY GROCERIES INTO THE HOUSE AND NOT WORRY ABOUT THE PLASTIC BAGS BUSTING AND HAVE YOUR CONTENTS ALL OVER THE GROUND .I PERSON SAID SHE NEVER KNOWS WHEN SHE WILL STOP EASY PUT A COUPLE IN YOUR CAR OR CARRY WITH YOU WHEN YOU GO JUST IN CASE. YEARS FROM NOW EVERYONE WILL BE COMPLAING ABOUT SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE EARTH AND BAY BECAUSE OF THESE BAGS, WELL WE NOW HAVE THE CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING AHEAD OF TIME .

  12. John Grahm says:

    so wanda lets stop making the bags and take tens of thousands of jobs away from people that are lucky to be employed ! They do take them at the curb for recycling and they make money off of that, creating more jobs. wake up its big government !!!

    1. Crabby1 says:

      why don’t you move to the middle east, small government works so well there

  13. Kevin says:

    Stop with the fees and instead ban the bags altogether. If the bags are not available, people will figure out a way to get their groceries home. Costco doesn’t issue bags and still the customers keep on coming.

  14. John says:

    Not a bad idea. When I go to the store and buy a couple items, they give me 4-5 bags for some reason. I don’t have a problem with bringing my own bags. Sometimes you just have to “suck it up” and do what’s right.

  15. john grahm says:

    hey crabby you should go to the ussr if you like they way government teels you every thing you have to do !!

    1. Crabby1 says:

      It’s amazing you can get on here and comment at all…

  16. Jim says:

    I have an idea, how about taxing our legislators every time they bring up a new tax proposal. They all have big fat salaries while the rest of us scratch and save enough to pay the mortgage.

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