Takoma Park bans businesses from providing plastic bags to customers

- In Washington D.C. and Montgomery County, customers who want a plastic bag with their purchase are required to pay a 5 cent fee to get one from the business. But in one city in Maryland, customers shopping there will not have that option.

The city of Takoma Park has implemented a plastic bag ban, which went into effect in the beginning of December. The law would fine businesses for providing plastic bags to customers for any sale.

Mayor Kate Stewart said city leaders plan to work with businesses to give them plenty of time to comply. Farmer's market vendors will be exempt from the ban until Dec. 2017.

There are a few exceptions for the plastic bag ban, which include dry cleaning bags, plastic bags used for newspaper deliveries and plastic bags used for raw or bulk items like produce, grains, candy and small hardware items.

After a grace period, businesses will receive a $100 fine for the first offense and then a $200 fine for subsequent violations.

“We hope it finally gets people to remember to use their bags,” said Mayor Stewart. “I think we all have good intentions ... We are hoping now that the plastic bags will no longer be available, that would be the extra incentive to remind people to take those [reusable] bags with them.”

The city hopes the ban will help stop Sligo Creek as well as the Chesapeake Bay from being littered with plastic bags.

This movement to ban disposable bags really seems to be picking up popularity. Just recently, residents in California voted down a measure to lift the plastic bag ban.

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