Plastic carryout bags would essentially be a thing of the past in Maryland if a bill in the General Assembly gathers enough lawmakers’ votes. The bill would ban plastic carryout bags at the “point of sale” next year in July, require stores to charge customers a 10 cent fee per “durable” carryout bag — like paper bags — money that retailers would keep, and create a “Single-Use Products Workgroup,” according to a state legislative analysis. At a bill hearing Feb. 11 in the House Environment and Transportation Committee, Delegate Jerry Clark, R-Calvert and St. Mary’s, asked the bill’s sponsor, Delegate Brooke Lierman, D-Baltimore, whether paper bags are better for the environment than plastic bags. Lierman said paper bags are better, though the goal of her bill is to encourage bringing reusable bags to stores, limiting overall waste. “You don’t go to the store without forgetting your wallet, and if we move this forward we won’t go to the stores without remembering our bags because people don’t want to pay (a bag fee),” Lierman said. During testimony, Lierman presented a 2019 survey that shows 88.2% of Prince George’s County and 76.6% of Howard County shoppers — who are not charged a […]
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