The Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) urges Marylanders to email their legislators in support of the proposed five-cent tax on plastic and paper shopping bags.
The Community Cleanup and Greening Act, sponsored by Delegate Mary Washington (District 43, Baltimore City), HB1247 and Senator Brian Frosh (District 16, Montgomery County), SB511, will place a five-cent fee on shopping bags. The proceeds will be used first to purchase and distribute free reusable bags to low-income and elderly residents. The remaining proceeds will be given to counties to apply to water quality improvement projects and to the Chesapeake Bay Trust to administer as environmental restoration grants.
According to Maryland LCV, this legislation would:
- Reduce litter in Maryland's neighborhoods and waterways. Plastic bag use is projected to drop 60% or more.
- Save retailers money by not having to buy as many bags to give away. A single shop owner could save upwards of $1,000 per year.
- Save consumers money when they avoid the hidden cost of "free" bags in higher prices. The average Maryland consumer spends up to $37.50 each year in hidden bag costs.
- Create green jobs by giving counties valuable funds for community investments such as neighborhood greening, stormwater improvements, watershed implementation plans, etc.
- Distribute hundreds of thousands of free cloth bags to those in need.