Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, businesses in Anne Arundel County will no longer provide plastic bags to customers, as the Bring Your Own Bag Plastic Reduction Act (Bill 19-23) takes effect. Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman encouraged residents to bring reusable bags with them to shop, in an effort to help protect the environment.
“Our residents take pride in the beauty and natural resources of the land and water where we live,” said County Executive Pittman. “This bag ban is a collective act that will make this place both cleaner and healthier for our residents and our wildlife.”
Retail establishments may provide paper carry-out bags and reusable carry-out bags at no cost until Feb. 1, 2024, after which they must charge at least 10 cents to cover the cost for each paper bag. There are exceptions to the plastic bag ban for certain approved uses, including for bags that contain, package, or wrap raw meat.
The new law aims to significantly reduce the contribution to plastic waste, litter, and pollution by reducing the number of single-use plastic carryout bags. The plastics typically used in bags contain chemical additives that become microplastics that pollute the environment and pose serious health threats to both humans and wildlife.
“Plastic bags not only mar the beauty of our surroundings but pose a grave threat to the diverse marine life inhabiting the Chesapeake Bay,” said Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien. “My hope is that this initiative will inspire further actions that empower us all to be stewards of the Earth, ensuring a legacy of environmental sustainability for generations to come.”
For more information regarding the Bring Your Own Bag Plastic Reduction Act and its exceptions, please visit aacounty.org/bring-your-own-bag. Business owners and the public can also visit the website to view frequently asked questions and download printable notices.