This morning the Environmental Matters Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates passed HB1086, the Community Cleanup and Greening Act. It was amended from the original bill and now will enable all counties in the state to pass a disposable bag fee in order to reduce bag litter in their neighborhoods and streams.
Under current law, only Montgomery County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City can establish this type of program. This proposal will allow all counties to establish a fee like Montgomery County has, where revenue is used for environmental purposes and to establish a program to assist low-income and elderly residents. Montgomery County residents have reduced their use of disposable bags by 60-70% since the fee took effect a year ago.
The committee voted 17-4 for a favorable report on the bill. Economic Matters must now also give it a favorable report before the bill reaches the House floor.