Montgomery Co. To Charge Shoppers Extra For Plastic, Paper Bags

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Bring your own or pay up. Some stores right here in Maryland will now charge you more money to take your purchases home in a plastic or paper bag. Now the question is whether the tax is needed statewide.

Kai Jackson explains the reasons behind the added fee.

This sweeping bag tax in Montgomery County prompts the question of whether other jurisdictions around Maryland will do the same.

They’re quick and convenient.  Plastic and paper bags are everywhere. But oftentimes they end up in places they shouldn’t be, like rivers, streams and storm drains, polluting the environment.

“I don’t think it’s particularly surprising given how many plastic bags people use and probably how many are carelessly discarded,” said Jeff Goldsmith, of Roland Park.

Paper or plastic may be the question you’re asked at the grocery store, but in Montgomery County citizens are now kicking out more coin no matter what bag they choose or who hands it out.

The County Council approved a 5 cent tax on paper and plastic bags at all retail stores.

“Our attempt here is not to obtain revenue but to get people to reform to utilizing reusable bags,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.

No one wants to pay more taxes, but some say they’d be willing to make the sacrifice if it meant cleaning up and protecting the environment.

“I think it’s a great idea if it’s going to help eliminate bags, and I’m all for the environment, so I think it’s a great idea,” said Ritchie Schell, of Roland Park.

Montgomery County estimates the tax will generate about $1.5 million a year.

That’s money the county executive says will be used to clean up rivers and streams.

“The consumer pays it. It’s a tax,” said Jeff Zellmer, Maryland Retailers Association.

“Five cents per bag, you said?  That’s a lot,” said Nabil Mezhoudi, of Hampden.

Montgomery County’s bag tax takes effect Jan. 1, 2012. The county will give reusable bags to those who want them.

Comments

One Comment

  1. RAYMOND says:

    NO PROBLEM IF THE COUNTY IS GOING TO GIVE REUSEABLE BAGS FREE OF CHARGE AND FORCE SUPERMARKETS TO GIVE REDUCTIONS IN PRICES TO COMPENSATE FOR THE SAVINGS THEY WILL RECOGNIZE AS A RESULT OF NOT HAVING TO PURCHASE BAGS.

  2. Debbie says:

    Then we can deal with the germs and disease that will be spread by reusable bags that people will not clean.

  3. D. Lewis says:

    Personally, I believe it is just DOWN RIGHT GREED!!!!!

  4. chris says:

    so what are they going to do next put a tax on plastic bottles because people throw them out to and they go into the bay. why don’t you just show people how to put things in the trash can. they love there taxes

    1. Kristin says:

      Unfortunately they have…even made it simple and change recycling so you can put everything in one bin. Recycling programs have been around since I can remember. They even pay people to drive trucks to your house to get it for you….and still it doesn’t make a difference to some people. It’s a shame, and unfortunately this is the last resort since too many people are careless😦

  5. david says:

    This is all wrong & a hardship for the poor & marginalized.

  6. steve says:

    kiss a ma plastic

  7. PCCrowdWinsAgain says:

    toilet paper should be outlawed!! Save the trees. Just use all those free adverts you get in the mail!
    washers should be outlawed!! just wait for a rainstorm!
    Dont waste energy with dryers use the power of the sun
    Sell your cars… bike to work!
    The New World Order always knows better than you!

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