Time to ban single-use plastic bags in Maryland
During the current legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill to ban single-use plastic bags. The bill almost passed last year, but due to the COVID pandemic the legislative session ended early without a final vote. Chestertown has had such a ban in place since 2012, and Delaware implemented its ban on Jan. 1. It is time that Maryland joins the growing list of states banning singleuse plastic bags.
Legislators are mindful that businesses have struggled during the pandemic. However, if passed, the bill would not go into effect until July 2022, when hopefully the economy will be in an upswing and COVID-19 is behind us. In 2019, nearly 100 surveyed businesses in Queen Anne’s County were dismayed at the sight of plastic bags littering roadways, fields and our beautiful Bay. Each of them said they would support a ban on single-use plastic bags.
In summary, 15 billion tons of plastic goes into our oceans every year, and plastic bags are a major culprit. Marylanders alone use 2 billion plastic bags a year. More than 75% of Maryland residents use plastic bags, yet only 5% of bags are recycled. It is time that Maryland says no to single-use plastic bags, and joins Chestertown and the 500 other locations around the country that have already banned these bags.