Bag Tax Law Goes Into Effect Jan. 1

Shoppers can pick up free reusable bags at various locations on Tuesday, starting at noon.


Paper or plastic: If you want a bag at the grocery store, prepare to now pay the price.

With Montgomery County’s new bag law beginning today, shoppers must now pay 5 cents for each non-reusable bag. Of that five cents, the retail establishment keeps one cent per bag for administrative costs.

To ease the transition, the county is distributing a limited number of reusable bags (donated by businesses) at the following locations on Tuesday, starting at noon:

• Safeway, King Farm, 403 Redland Boulevard, Rockville
• , 11244 Triangle Lane, Wheaton
• Bethesda, corner of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues, near the fountain
• Walmart, 20910 Frederick Road, Germantown

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett wil distribute bags at the Safeway in the Hillandale Forest Shopping Center at 10101 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring.

The tax will NOT apply to bags used to carry the following items: prescription drugs, newspapers, garbage, pet waste, yard waste, restaurant leftovers or farmers market goods.

The county expects to earn up to $1.5 million from this tax in the first year. This money will go to the Water Quality Protection Fund (WQPF) to fund stormwater management, watershed restoration and litter clean-up, according to a county press release.

ilkunta January 05, 2012 at 02:35 PM
moco loco: exactly! It is shoppers giant safeway aldi bags on the roads, not staples office depot macys jcpenny etc. The bag tax should be for groceries stores only. The paper bag tax needs to be totally repealed.
Carolyn Elefant January 05, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Moco, I feel exactly the same way. My beef is that I have always recycled the plastic bags. Before I had kids and dogs and commuted to DC each day, I used the bags to pack my lunch - and my husband and I would dispose of extras at the recycling cans at Giant or Safeway. After I had kids, disposed of diapers and pack lunches and now with two dogs, I use the bags for waste. Maybe canvas bags work for groceries - but they are a hassle for anything else. I never used lunch boxes/sacks with my girls because they either lose them on the bus or get so dirty that they have to be washed (and therefore use soap and water). As others have pointed out, it is problematic to carry clothing purchases in a canvas bag. Also, I would be curious to see how many working parents, particularly moms really support this law (no offense, but moms often bear the brunt of shopping and childcare responsibilities; yes, this is a generalization). I realize that in and of itself, it does not sound inconvenient to take a canvas bag to a grocery store or leave it in the trunk. But if you are trying to finish your shopping with a 2 year old and race off to pick up a 4 year old from pre-school and leave your bag in the car, what are the chances that you are going to trek out to the garage to retrieve it. Finally, why shouldn't RETAILERS bear any impact. Retailers could have said "look, we'll get bio-degradable bags." Retailers could have offered to give customers 5 cents back and didnt do that
Corbin Dallas Multipass January 05, 2012 at 03:03 PM
http://silverspring.patch.com/search?keywords=bag+tax http://gaithersburg.patch.com/search?keywords=bag+tax Patch regularly shares content between patches - wheaton patch stuff shows up on my bethesda patch front page all the time. https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=montgomery+county+bag+tax&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a It's been all over the news. Sorry, I don't think it's fair that you get to say you are well informed and a loyal reader when there is a plethora of information and articles that were out there and you claim you were taken by surprise. Local news channels had stories about it, local papers talked about it, even national forums such as Forbes, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post had coverage. I'm sympathetic to you, lilkunta, and to others here debating because for once people have been arguing logical arguments instead of false arguments (paper bags and effects on working mothers/poor instead of things like "dirty bags", which has been disproven). But it is demonstrably false to say anything about the county passing this in the dark and claim there is some sort of lack of media coverage.
ilkunta January 05, 2012 at 08:51 PM
corbin: thanks for the links but again, how many of those were in this patch? silver spring patch? One has to read takoma/potomac/colesville/darnestown patch to get full story on happenings in MoCo? Again I do feel that I am well informed. If you look here http://silverspring.patch.com/articles/northwood-students-testify-in-support-of-the-plastic-bag-fee you see I did comment. Local news covered it in May AFTER it passed not in feb/mar when it was up for proposal. In contrast the local news were all over all the anti teen curfew and we all knew where to go in SS to join the youth protests, where to go to sign the online petiton, when the forum was in rockville. As a matter of fact I remember the news reporting all the time about the DC bag tax went it up for for vote, incontrast to moCo which got press after the vote. I feel the bill was passed in the dark bc I dont recall reading about the open forum on patch or in the SS gazette. I do recall ALOT of info AFTER THE BILL PASSED. Again, when was the dirty bags theory disproven? Were customers canvas bags randomly checked for bacteria? I dont feel it is demonstrably false. Is there a way to look at past council meetings online? I need to call craig rice's office.
Ed Murtagh January 06, 2012 at 12:13 AM
About the earlier posting about feeling coerced into not using plastic bags. Being coerced means being forced to do something. If a typical person here uses 40 to 60 plastic bags a month. (I have no idea if this is accurate but in the ball park I would say), that will cost you two or three dollars a month. This is an inconvenience, not coercion. On the other hand if I were to decide that I was totally fed up with paying taxes to subsidize the disposable plastics lifestyle (it costs millions of taxpayer dollars a year and growing) my wages would be garnished or my house would be taken and sold to pay for those taxes. That is coercion. I think you should be free to use plastic disposables, but I don’t think I should have to subsidize that life style ( I will still be subsidizing the use of plastic bottles, Styrofoam etc…………. that is enough for me ) also just because you dont litter does not mean you are not contributing to the problem inadvertently. On Monday it was trash day in our community. It was very windy the night before and plastic trash was all over the place. Much of it was blown into the stormdrains and are now on their way to Sligo Creek.


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