Shoppers in Montgomery County now have added incentive to skip unneeded disposable bags at checkout in local stores, as the County’s five-cent bag fee went into effect on January 1. The County expects the fee to generate $1 million in revenue this year, which will be used to purchase and distribute reusable bags to low-income and elderly residents, and to support storm water improvement and litter abatement programs through the Water Quality Protection Charge fund. Here’s another story about it from Fox 5.
As with any change, some shoppers have expressed confusion about when the fee applies. As in 2010 when DC’s bag fee took effect, the media is quick to highlight these stories, but, also as in DC, we expect that consumers will learn the ropes and begin to make a habit of reusing bags. The County has already distributed more than 30,000 free reusable bags. It also has a thorough Q&A section on their website and is actively promoting bag giveaways at stores around the county, including Safeway, Walmart, Whole Foods, and Little Bitts Shop. For more updates, be sure to follow @BringYourBagMC on Twitter.
If you still aren’t convinced about the problems of plastic bags, Green Wheaton invites you to attend a free screening of the film Bag It! next Monday, January 9, at 7 pm at Brookside Gardens. They will also be distributing free reusable bags from Safeway! Register for your seat here.