Shoppers react to new law banning single-use plastic bags in some Maryland counties

The new year has brought some new laws to the region. For some Maryland counties, a big change is at the grocery store checkout. 

2023 is now in the bag and for shoppers in Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County and Frederick, so are single-use plastic bags. 

"It’s the Plastic Bag Reduction Act. We’re trying to reduce the use of single-use plastics in the county and at the same time we’re hoping it will encourage people to adopt new sustainable habits in using reusable totes," said Anne Arundel Council Vice-Chair Julie Hummer. 

Under this new law, stores are prohibited from offering any of those single-use plastic bags most people have all around the house. Hummer aqand other supporters of the law say they believe this will cut down on litter and hope to see fewer piles of trash and plastic bags floating down roadways.

It’s a policy that’s getting mixed reviews from shoppers who are going to have to bring their own bag to do their food shopping if they want to avoid paying 10 cents for paper. 


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"They’ll be a 10 cent charge — minimum 10 cent charge — but I want to be very clear that is not a tax. That 10 cents does not go back to county, that 10 cents goes to the retailer themselves to help offset the costs of the paper bags," Hummer said.

That policy doesn’t start until Feb. 1, but some are already bothered by it, saying paper isn’t as strong as plastic.

"It has been a pain! Yeah, if you forget your bags leaving home and get in the store, get your groceries and your're out of luck," one shopper told FOX 5. 

But some shoppers say they’re already adjusting, bringing their own reusable bag or even getting around that by keeping their groceries in the cart, loading them into the car and driving them all home.

"My routine now is to bring my own bags and if I don’t, I have to put it all in the cart and put it in the car and take it in the house," another shopper said.

Either way, the lawmakers behind the change say it’s not going anywhere and may even expand.