Frederick County could be next area to ban single-use plastic items

FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) — From bags to straws to carry out containers — could Frederick County be the next jurisdiction to ban single-use plastic items? One lawmaker there is opening discussions.

Some local officials have banned plastic straws. Others charge a small fee for plastic bags. Frederick County is now looking to catch up in the efforts to "go green."

County councilmember Kai Hagen says they are setting up a working group to conduct research about all single-use plastics.

"I am in favor of doing whatever works the most efficiently and effectively to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in circulation in our environment, especially with the growing concerns about microplastics and plastics in our environment, in our foodchain, even in our bodies," said Hagen.

It's been predicted that by around 2050, plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish. Plastic bags are one of the biggest offenders.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says it currently supports a bill in Baltimore that would ban the use of plastic bags and says it would support efforts to reduce single-use plastic litter that often ends up in the Bay as well as local rivers and streams.

Most shoppers FOX 5 stopped Fredrick Wednesday like the idea of being environmentally friendly, but some said it would take some getting used to.

"I think that's an excellent idea. I live in Ellicott City and I see them all over the neighborhood, hanging in the trees," said one man.

Hagen says retailers could opt to use alternatives, like bags made from corn starch.

Once they have the research from the working group, Hagen is hoping to draft legislation in the fall.