Baltimore County Council Considering Amendments To Upcoming Plastic Bag Ban
BALTIMORE COUNTY - At Tuesday's Baltimore County Council work session, members discussed proposed changes to the recently passed plastic bag ban.
The Bring Your Own Bag Act, passed in February 2023 and slated to be effective from November 1, prohibits food and retail stores like grocers and restaurants from offering plastic carryout bags and mandates a minimum charge of five cents for paper or reusable bags.
The legislation was proposed by Councilman Mike Ertel, citing local concerns about plastic bag litter in the Towson area. Council members Izzy Patoka and David Marks also backed the original act.
On August 7, Councilman Todd Crandell proposed changes to the act that would exempt all food sellers from the paper bag fee. Additionally, the changes would exempt liquor stores from both the ban on plastic bags and the requirement to charge for paper bags. His legislation also proposes that stores could sell plastic bags, provided they are thicker than 2.6 mils.
At Tuesday's work session, Crandell stated that his proposal aims to correct what he views as shortcomings in the initial law, arguing that liquor stores benefit more from plastic bags than paper or reusable ones.
Crandell was backed by Council Chair Julian Jones Jr., who opposed the original bill due to concerns that the bag ban places an unfair financial burden on businesses that are passed on to customers.
In a tweet on Monday, County Executive Johnny Olszewski asserted his intentions to veto the changes if passed by the council.
The council is scheduled to vote on Crandell's proposed changes on September 5.
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