On Tuesday, August 6, the Baltimore City Council's Judiciary Committee held its first public hearing on the Plastic Bag Reduction Bill. This important legislation bans plastic bags in stores in Baltimore, with exceptions for bags used for products like fresh meats, unpackaged fruits, or ice, and locations like farmers' markets and pharmacies. It also puts a 5-cent fee on paper bags - part of which will help the store meet the extra cost of buying and storing paper bags, and part of which can help the city distribute free reusable bags.
As environmental awareness has continued to increase, the debate of banning distribution of plastic bags has been brought to the table. Implementing policy regarding this issue in Baltimore City would lead to numerous benefits for its residents, its economy, and its surrounding ecosystems. A plastic bag ban in Baltimore City may reap a large positive economic impact by decreasing the demand for disposable bags and increasing the demand for reusable bags.