PRINCE GEOREGE'S COUNTY, Md. - Prince George's County retailers will begin charging at least a 10-cent fee for each paper and reusable bag sold to consumers starting January 1, 2024.
A new ban was enacted to help protect local waterways and marine life, reduce plastic pollution and litter, and promote reusable bags. This ban includes single-use, carryout plastic bags distributed at check-out registers by retailers and other businesses across the county.
"Plastic bags do not biodegrade and contaminate our local waterways, causing harm to marine life, clogging our storm drains, and littering our streets and communities," says Department of the Environment (DoE) Director Andrea Crooms. "This ban encourages consumers to reduce waste and addresses one of the County’s Climate Action Plan recommendations, an important step in maintaining a sustainable County and reducing our carbon footprint."
The ban applies to all retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, or any other establishment providing single-use plastic bags to customers at the point of sale or service. The ban doesn’t apply to bags that package bulk items (produce, grains, small hardware, etc.), bakery goods, fish, meat, flowers, and dry cleaning. No charges apply to paper bags for prescription medicine and take-out food by restaurants or prepared food provided at a drive-through.
Reusable carryout bags are defined as a bag with stitched handles specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuses, made of cloth or other washable fabric, and made of durable material suitable for various re-use that is not made of plastic ﬁlm. To assist residents in making the transition, the County will provide a limited amount of free reusable bags.