Could Md. Be the First State With a Disposable Bag Tax?

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credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC)- “Paper or plastic?” That’s the age-old checkout line question.

In Maryland, the classic query could soon be replaced. Delegates from Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties are co-sponsoring a proposal that would have all Marylanders paying the same 5-cent disposable bag fee that shoppers in Montgomery County and the District are already subject to, the Washington Post reports.

In those areas, customers are often asked if they even want a bag at all. Statistics show that many of them don’t.

According to an analysis submitted along with the proposed legislation, the District’s law generated $2 million in revenue but reduced bag consumption by 50 percent in its first two years. In less than one year, Montgomery County’s legislation generated more than $2 million and decreased bag use by an estimated 36 percent.

Proponents of the bill hope to see similar results in Maryland. They say plastic bags “clog waterways, harm wildlife, consume valuable landfill space, and lead to greater fossil fuel consumption.”

But the “Community Cleanup and Greening Act,” as it’s called, would also have a percentage of the profits from the bag tax go to the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

WNEW’s John Domen contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

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