Maryland's Proposed Statewide Bag Tax
by Josh Kizler Maryland State Del. Alfred C. Carr (D-District 18) will soon reintroduce a bill to impose a bag tax of five cents on new plastic and paper bags used by shoppers in Maryland. After one failure and another unfavorable report, this is the third go-around for a bill such as Carr’s, which is called The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Consumer Retail Choice Act. Resembling the Washington, D.C. tax, which benefits a fund to clean up the Anacostia River, the Maryland bill would raise revenues benefitting the Chesapeake Bay. With Virginia Del. Joseph D. Morrissey’s proposed legislation to impose a 20-cent tax on plastic bags in Virginia, a triumvirate of single-use bag programs could soon exist.
Certain Maryland municipalities and retail stores already credit consumers five cents per reusable bag brought in by a customer. If Carr’s bill passes, the incentive would raise to 10 cents per bag. For a family of four who shops perhaps five times per month, using seven bags per trip, and 12 months in the year, annual savings would account to $42.00. Who wouldn’t be interested in saving this money? Just remember to keep the bags in your trunk, to bring them into the store, and to put them back in your trunk once you unload your groceries.
Propaganda campaigns have been waged against bag taxes and bans such as this because they are anti-industry or because they allegedly take away human’s given right to exploit natural resources and consume as seen fit. What often goes unnoticed is the quantity of natural resources used to produce, transport, and dispose of single-use bags, and the trash that they produce. Even if you picked up your animal litter with it, or lined your trash bin for several days, that plastic bag you used is still sitting in a landfill, floating in the wind, or in the Pacific somehwere. Why not just make the simple choice and support a bill such as Carr’s, because it is good for the environment and good for humans.
See this Gazette article for more information.
View the text of the bill here.