Baltimore County Preps For Plastic Bag Ban With Free Reusable Bag Giveaways


Since Baltimore City enacted its bag ban, there has been a 63% reduction in plastic bags in area waterways. (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - To help residents transition smoothly into a world without plastic bags, Baltimore County is launching a program to distribute free reusable bags at public library branches, senior centers, and pop-up events at farmer's markets throughout the area.

The Bring Your Own Bag Act will ban single-use plastic checkout bags across the county beginning November 1, 2023. The act will apply to most retail establishments, including grocery stores, restaurants, and department stores. These businesses will no longer be able to provide customers with plastic bags and will be required to display signs indicating the prices of paper or reusable bags.

Not all plastic bags are part of the ban; exemptions include bags used for bulk items, damp goods, and other specialized uses. The Department of Permits, Approvals, and Inspections will enforce the law and levy a $500 fine for each violation by retailers.

The county will distribute reusable bags at specific dates and locations to ensure residents are prepared for the change. The bags will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to one per person:

Catonsville Farmers Market (Sundays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)

Location: 15 Mellor Ave, Catonsville, 21228

  • September 24
  • October 8
  • October 22

Essex Farmers Market (Fridays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.)

Location: 500-block of Maryland Ave, Essex, 21221

  • Friday, October 6
  • Friday, October 20

Towson Farmers Market (Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Location: Allegheny Ave, Towson, 21204

  • September 21
  • October 5
  • October 12

Pikesville Farmers Market (Tuesdays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.)

Location: 1700 Reisterstown Rd, Pikesville 21208

  • September 26
  • October 10
  • October 24

Households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs will be provided bags directly.

For more information about Baltimore County's Bring Your Own Bag law, residents are encouraged to visit the official county website

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