County Executive Ike Leggett has proposed new legislation that would place a five-cent charge on each paper or plastic carryout bag provided by retail establishments in the County to customers at the point of sale, pickup or delivery. Retailers would receive a one-cent rebate on each plastic bag to help cover administrative costs. The new law would take effect January 1, 2012.
Revenues from the tax -- estimated at about $1.5 million in the first year -- would be directed to the Water Quality Protection Fund (WQPF) that pays for things such as stormwater management, watershed restoration and litter clean-up. Plastic bags are one of the top four items found in County streams and stormwater controls. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff said that in 2009 the County spent approximately $3 million for litter prevention and clean-up programs.
To read the law and see other facts about plastic bag pollution, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/trashfree. Also, see news release.