Crossposted from Clean Prince George’s
Many people think of the Prince George’s bag bill as an environmental bill, and it does enjoy a broad base of support from environmental groups. But the coalition supporting the bag fee is much, much broader than the environmental community. It includes town and city governments, including the Prince George’s County Council, as well as business, labor, faith, youth, and cultural groups. Supporters range from the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400. The Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, representing the construction and development industry, has endorsed the bill. County Executive Rushern Baker supports the bill, as do the mayors of Forest Heights and Capitol Heights.
Reading their letters of support, it’s easy to see why there is such wide reaching enthusiasm for the bill: Cleaner, more attractive streets and streams. Taxpayer savings from reduced litter cleanup costs. Reduced landfill tipping and garbage hauling fees. A dedicated funding source to clean up our communities. These are concerns shared by all citizens, and they will benefit everyone. And with the overwhelming success of the bag fees in DC and Montgomery County, these aren’t just ideas — we know they are proven to work.
Of course, there is also a strong coalition of environmental groups that have endorsed the bag bill. These organizations have been working for years to restore the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, and they know first-hand how much of a difference this bill will make. From Indian Creek, to the Anacostia River, the Potomac, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean — the bag bill will improve water quality all the way down the line. The diversity of supporting environmental groups is testament to the wide ranging environmental impact of the bill: from the tiny Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek to the nationwide Clean Water Action.
Several endorsing organizations have requested amendments to the bill, which will be incorporated to help make the transition easier for our senior and lower income residents. Those who choose to purchase disposable bags will be funding the distribution of reusable bags to those in need. Remaining funds will be dedicated to environmental cleanup projects in our neighborhoods, including public education, water quality, and litter cleanup.
A clean Prince George’s County is something we can all get behind. A more beautiful landscape, and more beautiful rivers, make our county an attractive place to live and work, inviting investment and instilling a sense of civic pride in our citizens.
Click here to see the full list of government and community organizations that support the Prince George’s bag bill.
Join the coalition! Email us if your business, government, faith, youth, environment, or other community organization would like to be added to this list.
- Alice Ferguson Foundation
- Anacostia Watershed Citizens Advisory Council
- Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership
- Anacostia Watershed Society
- Citizens to Conserve and Restore Indian Creek
- Clean Water Action
- Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek
- Friends of Quincy Run Watershed
- Indian Head Highway Area Action Council
- Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
- Keep Prince George’s Beautiful
- Latino Civic Association
- Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association
- Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
- Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce
- Prince George’s Civic Association
- Sierra Club – Maryland Chapter
- Trash Free Maryland Alliance
- United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400
- University of Maryland Student Government Association
- Prince George’s County Council (position statement – PDF)
- Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker
- City of Greenbelt
- City of College Park
- City of Mount Rainier
- Town of Bladensburg
- Mayor Jacqueline Goodall, Town of Forest Heights
- Mayor Kito James, Town of Capitol Heights
- Gary Allen, Former Mayor of Bowie
– by Bradley Kennedy, Trash Free Maryland Alliance