A bill that would ban the use and sale of plastic bags in Baltimore County received overwhelming support from local residents Tuesday night before the county council. Three council members introduced the Bring Your Own Bag Act earlier this month, which would also impose a 10 cent minimum fee on paper and reusable bags at checkouts in retail and grocery stores.
According to one of its sponsors, Towson Democratic councilman Mike Ertel, the bill aims to encourage people to bring reusable bags when they shop for groceries and reduce the garbage caused by discarded plastic bags. He and the other two sponsors, Pikesville Democrat Izzy Patoka and Perry Hall Republican David Marks, called the bill environmentally friendly.
County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., a Democrat, also threw his weight behind the measure. Other Maryland jurisdictions, such as Howard County and Baltimore City, have introduced similar laws. Twenty-three people, ranging from environmentalists to religious leaders, submitted testimonies expressing their opinions on the bill ahead of Tuesday’s working session, in addition to the two dozen who gave testimony in person and virtually. “By banning plastic bags, we keep our environment clean while also sending a message about the importance of protecting the environment,” Del wrote. Dana Stein, a Democrat representing Baltimore County, in an email to the council.